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Full text of "North Carolina sermons .."

DUKE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY 
DURHAM, N. C. 




Rec'cL 



{XLIL^L 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/northcarolinaser00bran1 



NORTH CAROLINA 



t> 





: 



VOLUME I. 
a- 



EDITED BY 

Rev. L. BRANSON, A. M. 



im-» 3 



RALEIGH, N. C: 

L. Branson, Publisher and Bookseller. 

1881. 



NOTES. 



1. It is desired to preserve some of the Sermon Literature of 
the State. 

2. Very few Worth Carolina Ministers have ever had any 
Sermons printed. 

3. This volume is published by subscription, in order to sell 
it at the lowest figures. 

4. The print, being large, is well suited to the aged and also 
to the young. 

5. These are Sermons of living men well known among us. 

G. It is designed to publish Volume II. when there is sufficient 
demand for it. 



July 14th, 18SL 



L, BRANSON, Editor. 



Copyright, 1881, by j Edwards, Broughton & Co, 

h Branson, Raleigh, N. C. I Printers, Raleigh, N, C. 



ScK. R. 

CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 
I. 

IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING UP A CHRISTIAN 

CHARACTER, 5 

By Rev. L. S. Burkhead, D. D., Raleigh, N. C. 

II. 

THE FIXEDNESS OF MORAL CHARACTER, . 25 
By Rev. R. L. Abebnethy, D.D., Rutherford 
College, N. C. 

III. 

APOSTASY, ......... 34 

By Rev. R. O. Babbett, Statesville, N. C. 

IV. 
A PRESENT KNOWLEDGE OF FUTURE FELIC- 
ITY, .... 41 

By Rev. B. Yobk, D.D., Rutherford College, N. C. 

V. 

THE END FOR WHICH CHRIST CAME, , . 53 

By Rev. John R. Bbooks, Fayetteville, N. C. 

VI. 

THE ONLY FOUNDATION, ..... 97 

By Rev. Solomon Pool, D . D. , Gary, N. C. 

VII. 

ON HEAVEN, ......... 79 

By Rev. T. W. Guthrie, Rockingham, N. C. 

VIII. 
THE UNREASONABLENESS AND SINFULNESS 

OF MAN'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS GOD, . . 90 
By Rev. John S. Watkins, Raleigh, N. C. 



*H3 



4 Contents. 

PAGE. 

IX. 

THE HUMAN BODY .102 

By Rev. J. J. Renn, Thomasville, X. C. 

X. 

OX THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT, . .116 

By Rev. Geo. W. Neal, A. M., Xewbern, X. C. 

XL 

CHRISTIAN HOLINESS, I2S 

By Rev. Thos. S. Campbell, Madison, X. C. 

XII. 

FUNERAL OF FAXXIE SHERWOOD YORK, . 144 
By Rev. L. Branson, A. M., Raleigh, X. C. 

XIII 

COMPLETENESS OF CHRIST AS A SAVIOUR, . 155 
By Rev. II. T. Hudson, D. D., Shelby, X. C. 

XIV. 

OX FORGIVENESS. ....... 1G7 

By Rev. F. D. Swindell, Kinston, X. C. 

XV. 

THE GRANDEUR OF GOD'S DOMINIONS, „ . 178 
By Rev. Dr. E. L. Perkins, Newport, N. C. 

XVI. 

THE NEW COMMANDMENT, ...... 197 

By Rev. Frank H. Wood, Newborn, N. C. 



NORTH CAROLINA SERMONS. 






BUILDING UP A CHRISTIAN CHARACTER. 

By L. S. Bukkhead, D. B., of the N. C. Conference. 



But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, 
praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking 
•for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.— Jude 20: 21. 

This Epistle of Jude seems to have been designed 
for all the people of God, in every place and through 
all time. All are exhorted to contend earnestly for 
the " faith which was once delivered unto the saints," 
lest they be carried away from the truth by the in- 
fluence of corrupt teachers and false doctrines, and 
thus led into sin and on to ruin. Jude then sets be- 
fore us examples showing how God's judgments 
overtake and overthrow all who rebel against his 
just authority and the wise administration of his 
moral government. "I will therefore put you in 
remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that 
the Lord, having saved the people out of the land 
of Egypt, afterwards destroyed them that believed 
not." " And the angels which kept not their first 
estate, but left their own habitation, he hath re- 
served in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto 
the judgment of the great day." "Even .as Sodom 



6 North Carolina Sermons. 

and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, in like 
manner giving themselves over to fornication and 
going after strange flesh, are set forth for an exam- 
ple, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." In or- 
der to prevent all to whom this Epistle is addressed 
from being overthrown and destroyed, to prompt 
them to the abandonment of error and sin, and to 
urge them to the cultivation of practical godliness, 
in order that they might " grow in grace " and at 
last receive an "abundant entrance into the everlast- 
ing kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," 
our author urges the exhortation of the text. 

It is the duty of every man to build up and maintain 
a pure and consistent. Christian character, and thus ex- 
hibit the excellency of the Gospel, glorify God and bless 
the ivorld. 

The text calls attention to the importance of the 
construction, growth, maturity and stability of individ- 
ual Christian character, embracing the design of 
personal salvation, blessing the world by a holy in- 
fluence and manifesting God's wisdom, mercy and 
love, in the Gospel of his Son, in the eyes of man- 
kind. Every human being is building up a char- 
acter of some sort — every one must build, every one 
is building. Each one must work out his own des- 
tiny. Each one should work out his own destiny 
with a firm reliance on the truth that " God works 
in him," if he would be pure and holy here and 
happy and glorious hereafter. The character which 
a man builds should be founded on " the Rock," 
rise in strength and beauty, stand secure and firm 



.'Christian Character. 7 

■amid the storms of earth and time, and receive the 
approval of God. No man can work out his own 
destiny, either for weal or woe, without influencing 
the destiny of others. " No man liveth to himself 
and no man clieth to himself." No man lives alone 
who obeys God, No man perishes alone who disobeys 
God. In other words, no man can " work out his 
own salvation " without working for the salvation 
of others ; nor can any man labor to advantage for 
the spiritual and eternal welfare of others, without 
being employed at the same time in the cultivation 
of personal holiness. " Without faith it is impossi- 
ble to please God." Therefore we must "have faith 
in God" — be in the faith — living by faith, as an ac- 
tive operating principle, urging us on in the perform- 
ance of good works, if we would labor successfully 
for ourselves and others. Should we attempt to "pull 
the moto out of our brother's eye" while a "beam 
is in our own eye," we would act unwisely, per- 
vert the gospel plan and bring ourselves under the 
disapprobation of God ; and at the same time fail to 
help ourselves or benefit our brother. Hence our 
first work is to look well to our own personal salva- 
tion. Be sure that we are right ; sure that we have 
"" passed from death unto life ;" sure that the "Spirit 
of God bears witness with our spirits that we are the 
children of God ;" and sure that our works demon- 
strate the correctness of our faith : for then, and then 
only, will our efforts bless mankind and lead sinners 
to Christ. Our own souls are of vastly more impor- 
tance to us than all the souls of all the ^vorld besides. 



8 North Carolina Sermoks. 

We should never for a moment lose sight of theif 
priceless value, their fearful responsibility and their 
imminent danger ; but solemnly pondering the 
great truth that " every one of us must give account 
of himself to God," we should prosecute the work 
assigned us, "doing all to the glory of God" and 
" looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ 
unto eternal life." Thus we shall receive the divine 
blessing, and through our instrumentality the world 
shall rejoice and heaven sing. 

" Building up yourselves on your most holy faith." 
The system of faith upon which we are exhorted 
to build, is the " Gospel of the grace of God"— the 
great plan of recovering mercy revealed in the Holy 
Scriptures. This is the grand system of faith Jude' 
tells us " was once delivered to the saints," and is- 
justly called a system of " most holy faith." It is a* 
divine system-— God is its author. Like its author, 
it is perfect and holy. It is the most perfect system 
that human intelligence ever contemplated, or that 
the great God could have given to man. Infinite 
goodness could not have prompted, and infinite wis- 
dom could not have devised less than the most per- 
fect system. If, therefore, we allow the Gospel of 
Christ to be a grand system of divine origin and 
procurement, for the restoration of fallen man to the 
forfeited favor and image of God, and the very best 
that infinite skill could have provided, it will follow 
that this gospel has claims upon us immeasurably 
higher than any or all other systems can pre- 
sent. The reason is obvious. God is our creator 



Christian Character. 2 

and glorious benefactor. " Every good gift and 
■every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down 
from the Father of lights, with whom is no variable- 
ness, neither shadow of turning." We belong to 
God — soid, body and spirit. He not only made us, 
but also bought us with a price, no less precious 
than the "blood, of Christ." Hence the Almighty 
has an indisputable right to furnish a system of lav/ 
for our government, mark out a course of conduct 
for us to pursue, authoritatively command us to walk 
therein ; and if we choose to set at defiance his right- 
eous will, to punish us as our deeds demand. God 
has not only the right to make these claims upon 
us, but it is in the highest sense proper according to 
the clearest principles of reason and equity, that 
these claims should be acknowledged and obeyed by 
us, and that he should have the service of all our 
powers through the whole eternity of our existence. 
Hence St Paul says: "I beseech you, therefore, 
brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present 
your bodies a living sacrifice, hoi}", acceptable to 
God, which is your reasonable service?" This system 
of " most holy faith " reveals the source and meas- 
ure of moral obligation. So soon, therefore, as we 
k now what God requires of us, we are bound to obey, 
from the heart and implicitly, all his commandments. 
Obedience to his will is righteousness. Disobedience 
is wickedness. One course of action is right and 
leads to heaven ; the other is wrong and conducts to 
hell. We are moral agents, and may obey or diso- 
bey. This system of holy faith is presented to man. 



10 "North Carolina Sermons; 

His mind is illumined and his heart is touched by 
the grace and Spirit of God, and duty and interest 
alike press him to embrace this great salvation and 
live forever. If he heed the voice of God, the dic- 
tates of enlightened reason, the pleadings of personal 
interest, and receive and obe}^ the will of God, all 
shall be well. If he refuse them, by his own volun- 
tary act he seals his own doom ; and, deep, dark 
and ruinous though it be, God is just, and his wis- 
dom and glory are manifested in the impenitent 
sinner's destruction. 

By faith man lays deep down upon the immuta- 
ble basis of eternal truth — the truth that "God is in 
Christ reconciling the world unto himself" — the 
solid foundation of Christian character. Embracing 
Christ as the only saviour of sinners,, he plants him- 
self firmly on " the Rock of Ages," the sure founda- 
tion, and by the exercise of living faith, winch de- 
rives its efficiency from the sacrifice of Christ, man 
becomes " a new creature' 7 by the regenerating power 
of the Holy Ghost, and henceforth is able to "live by 
faith" — that faith which "sweetly works by love 
and purifies the heart." The foundation of Chris- 
tian life and character being thus securely laid, the 
building must rise through the blessing of God and 
the efforts of the builder. All who have thus laid 
the foundation, are affectionately addressed by our 
text as "beloved" as brethren in Christ The senti- 
ment is " ye" who have this faith, who have received 
the Gospel, and who are still grounded in the prin- 
ciples of truth,, having resisted successfully the at- 



Christian Character. 11 

tacks of sin, Satan and false teachers, take warning 
from the example of others who have fallen from 
grace, and remember that although you have begun 
to build, your house is as yet incomplete — that you 
are still in a world of sin and " there are many ad- 
versaries." The great burden and heat of the day 
are still before you. The great battle of life must 
be fought before you can be crowned a victor. The 
building must still continue to go up to completion 
before the cap stone can be laid in its place. 

True, you ma} r conquer; but, then you may be con- 
quered. God is for you, and his grace is sufficient. 
If you employ this grace and do your duty, all will 
be well. But if you fail in duty and perseverance, 
you will perish. There is onh r one way of success ; 
that is, improve what you have received. The Mas- 
ter says, "occupy till I come." You have faith in 
Christ — build upon this all the principles and graces 
of the Gospel system, and you shall never be 'put to 
shame. But should you fail in this work, all who 
pass by will begin to mock, saying, "this man began 
to build and was not able to finish." 

" Building up yourselves." The figure is architec- 
tural. The improvement and completion, or the 
growth and maturity of Christian character, is rep- 
resented by the rearing up and completion of a 
building upon its proper foundation. AVhen an ed- 
ifice is to be erected, the architect first conceives and 
then drafts the design. He instructs the builder in 
thepZcm, selects the material and directs how this 
material is to be incorporated into the superstruc- 



12 North Carolina Sermons-. 

ture, so as to fill up the draft and complete the de- 
sign. God is the architect of Christian character. 
He has conceived and drafted the design, given all 
necessary instruction, furnished all necessary mate- 
rial, and so thoroughly prepared us for the work of 
building that there can be no excuse for us should 
we refuse to build, use improper material, or should 
our house fail to receive the approval of the Great 
Architect. Man is a moral agent, and the divine 
plan is placed before him in all its grandeur and 
beauty. All the material is selected, marked and 
numbered, and God teaches him to build wisely. 
While this is true, there are other "so-called" archi- 
tects ; and these propose other plans, the use of other 
materials, and urge us to build for other objects. 
Satan and false teachers are forever thrusting new de- 
signs before our minds and hearts, and telling us that 
we need not be so particular about the foundation, 
the material to be used, or the precise character of 
the model after which our building should be fash- 
ioned. But we should be wise to comprehend the 
divine plan, and to examine and approve the divine 
material. While God teaches us. to build of "gold, 
silver and precious stones" — that these are neces- 
sary to the construction of a beautiful and substan- 
tial edifice — Satan and false teachers would persuade 
us to build of "wood, hay and stubble," and thus 
deprive us of the approval of God. If man should 
build in opposition to the will of God, his labor shall 
be lost and his building fall into hopeless ruin;-; ior, 
" except the Lord build the house they labor in vain 



Christian Character. 13 

that build it." Christian character is the house 
completed or in process of completion, according to 
the design of God. 

A man may be thought to possess all the elements 
and ornaments of Christian character, when, in fact, 
he may be destitute of the first principles of saving 
faith. The estimation, therefore, which the world 
places on a man does not always designate his real 
worth. A good name is desirable, and may be earn- 
estly sought when sought in harmony with correct 
principle. The reputation which should be sought 
is the pure and sweet light that radiates from a pure 
heart and a virtuous life. This is the "true renown 
begun on earth, and lasting in the skies." But in 
this fallen world and wicked generation, praise is 
not always bestowed where it is due. Oftentimes 
.men, whose characters are pure and good, are neg- 
lected and slandered and the world, spurns them as 
unworthy. Hence many of the great and good live 
in obscurity, while the base and mean are exalted to 
place and power. Such is the baseness of the carnal 
mind — and there are so many carnal minds — that 
few escape its wicked and. slanderous attacks. 

"Be tliou chaste as ice, as pure as snow, 
Thou shalt not escape calumny." 

And oftentimes 

" Envy doth invade 
Works breathing into immortality, and cast 
Upon the fairest piece the greatest shade.*' 

Blessed be God, the character of the truly good 
man shall ultimately triumph and be "had in ever- 



14 North Carolina Sermons. 

lasting remembrance." Then, what though his good 
name be filched from him, and he should go down 
to his grave beneath a cloud of reproach ! Even in 
that case the light radiating from the grand princi- 
ples of the Gospel which he possessed and exempli- 
fied in life, would break forth from the tomb, dispel 
the clouds of slander, command the admiration and 
guide the footsteps of coming generations. Jesus 
Christ was the perfect model, after which our charac- 
ter should be fashioned. Yet the church and the 
world united in heaping reproaches upon his name 
and in condemning him to the cruel death of cruci- 
fixion. But, a glorious light breaks forth from the 
cross and sepuleher, which is driving error, preju- 
dice, malice and sin, like vapors before the rising 
sun. And now, in mid-heaven and full orbed glory 
he shines, and to the brightness of his redeeming 
light the eyes of the world are directed ; and thus 
glorious light shall triumph over darkness until 
"heaven's last thunder shakes the world below " ; 
and then it shall flame up from deep vaults of death 
to the gates of glory ; and focalized there, illumine 
the city of God with fadeless glory forever. And the 
same principles of eternal truth that make Jesus 
Christ so glorious in the eyes of men and angels, 
shall bless, exalt and glorify in the degree of their 
possession, all the faithful and holy who follow in 
Ins footsteps. But a reputation without the holy 
principles of troth and purity to save it from decay 
and rottenness, is an insignificant myth — the shifting 
shadow of a crazy building whose foundation is 



Christian Chaeactee. 15 

sand; and when the storms arise and the floods come, 
this rickety house shall fall into hopeless ruins and 
shed no halo of glory upon the world, but lead others 
to the eternal shades of darkness and death. Yet, 
hundreds and thousands are pursuing this ignis 
fatuus, without regard to the great principles of vir- 
tue and truth. 0! what folly! It is like flying 
from the proud temple of security, when the tem- 
pests are gathering, to perish in the pelting hail; 
or, like forsaking the gallant ship that has braved a 
thousand storms, to contend, without so much as a 
single plank, with the angry deep. But to fallen 
ambitious man, there is a bewitching spell even in 
an unsubstantial name. Pollock sings of this "fleet- 
ing phantom," — 

"Her voice was sweet to mortal ears. 
And touched so pleasantly the strings of pride 
And vanity, which, in the heart of man, 
Were ever strung' harmonious to her note, 
That many thought, that to live without her song^ 
Was rather death than life." 

In view of this evil tendency of human nature., 
how necessary that all should seek the grace of God 
and labor to build up such a character as heaven 
will own and bless! — such characters as shall de- 
serve the approbation of all good men. The great 
principles of Christian character may be learned 
from a careful study of the word of God. Paul says: 
" Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are 
honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever 
things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, what- 
soever things are of good report; if there be any 



18 North Carolina Sermons. 

virtue and if there be any praise, think on these 
things." Here the Apostle presents as subjects for 
deep investigating thought, all the principles of 
truth, honesty, justice, purity, and the things that are 
lovely and of good report, in one brief sentence. What 
fields for thought open out before the mind ! What 
is truth? How is truth to be applied in the work of 
human effort and salvation? What is honesty? 
How is it to be exhibited in all our relations with 
God and men? What are the principles of justice? 
How are we to be just to ourselves, our fellow-men 
and to God ? What are the principles of purity, and 
how are they to shine with unclouded lustre in all 
we think, fee], hope, desire, imagine and say and do ? 
What are the lovely things? How shall a man so 
adorn himself — his soul, mind and heart — as to be 
beautiful in the sight of God, and of all the pure and 
good? What things are of good report f and how 
shall we think on all these things, so as to properly 
develop and cultivate them in our hearts, lives and 
influence, for the glory of God and the good of man- 
kind ? Behold, another string of jewels taken from 
the writings of St. Peter: "Add to your faith, virtue: 
and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temper- 
ance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, 
godliness; and to godliness, brotherly-kindness ; and 
to brotherly kindness, charity." The Bible gives 
full and specific directions in reference to all these 
great principles, virtues and graces ; and gradually 
unfolds their deep significance, profound importance 
and expanding glory — as a man thinks, and prays ? 



Christian Character. 17 

and labors to incorporate -them into his character, 
each in its appropriate place to shine out in his life 
in symmetrical beauty— all blending into harmo- 
nious completeness. As man, in earnest thought, de- 
vout prayer, and patient, energetic effort, ascends 
the scale of moral excellency, God comes down to 
his help ; and thus, by the cooperating influence of 
divine and human agency, man rises in glory and 
approximates perfection. Here is another sentence 
more grand and comprehensive still : " Thou shalt 
love the Lord thy Gocl, with all thy heart, and with 
all thy soul, and with all thy mind," and, "thou shalt 
love thy neighbor as thyself." Here, all the law and 
the prophets / all the graces, virtues, beauties and 
glories of Christianity unite and blend in the divine- 
principle of love, and shine out in this centre and 
circumference of Christian duty, obligation and 
privilege. ! here are broad fields for cultivation j 
an infinite ocean for navigation, and infinite depths, 
heights, lengths and breadths to be traveled, pene- 
trated, scaled and measured by human thought! 
" ! the depths of the riches both of the wisdom 
and knowledge of God 1" In the light of love the 
building shines with increasing beauty and glory, 
as it nears completion ; but man must build on, sing 
on and shine on, as his life-work advances. In sun- 
shine and storm, in cold and heat, in sickness and 
in health, at home and abroad, in prosperity and in 
adversity, aye— in all and singular of life's vicissi- 
tudes he builds on. The activity of his faith, the 
ardor and glow of his love, the patience of his hope 



18 North Carolina Sermons. 

and the song of his joy, sings out upon the air, un- 
der every stroke in the cause of God and of human- 
ity, for the encouragement of all who are engaged 
in the sublime work. Let all work on and sing on I 

"Whatever tempts the soul 
To loiter ere it reach its goal, 
Whatever syren voice would draw 
Thy heart from duty and its law>, 
O ! that distrust, go bravely on," 
Until the victor's crown be won, 

"Praying in the Holy Ghost" The influence and 
operations of the Holy Ghost are necessary to the 
successful completion of the sublime work where- 
unto we have been called. Without his influence 
and help, we cannot accomplish anything that is 
good. Though God has given his Son to die for us; 
though Christ suffered the agonies of the garden 
and the death of the cross, for our redemption, all is 
vain unless the Holy Ghost perform his blessed work 
of illumination and purification upon our minds 
and hearts and lives. He must quicken our dead 
souls, " convince of sin, of righteousness and of judg- 
ment." He must regenerate and sanctify, bear wit- 
ness with our spirits, console and encourage our 
hearts; guide into all truth, and "show us things 
to come." Through his blessed influence and power 
we must realize that the " kingdom of God is not 
meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and 
joy in the Holy Ghost." He must enable us to 
" walk in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort " 
of his blessed influences, and thus multiply our 



Christian Character. 19 

power for good in the world. He is the divine living 
source of all the Christian graces. Hence these 
graces are called the "fruits of the Spirit." " Love, joy, 
peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 
meekness and temperance," are all "fruits of the 
Spirit." He is ever with his people ; He " helpeth 
our infirmities }i and " maketh intercessions for us 
with groanings which cannot be uttered." Now, 
these divine influences and their glorious fruits are 
given, through the atonement of Christ, to every 
child of God in answer to prayer. Prayer is essen- 
tially necessary to a saving interest iti the "system 
of most holy faith." It is a solemn duty, and also an 
instrument for the attainment of an end. Hence, in 
order to secure the approbation of God, the influ- 
ences and graces of the Ploly Ghost, and to success- 
fully "add to our faith " and " build ourselves up " 
in holiness of heart and life, we must "pray in the 
Holy Ghost." The duty and efficacy of prayer is in 
harmony with reason and sound philosophy, and 
clearly taught and positively enjoined in the Holy 
Scriptures, on all men. " Prayer is the offering up 
of our desires to God, for things agreeable to His 
will, in the name of Jesus Christ, by the help of the 
Holy Ghost, with confession of sin and a thankful 
acknowledgment of all his benefits to us through 
the blood of atonement." Man must desire the 
things that are in harmony with the will of God, be- 
cause such things are essential to his highest good 
and grandest development, in time and eternity. 
He must ask for these things "in the name of Christ " 



20 North Carolina Sermons. 

because all good must come to him through the 
work of atonement. Christ is the only way to the 
Father, and his name the only security that will 
enable us to draw on the Bank of Heaven. His 
name is "all-prevailing." Hence the sacred poet 
sings : 

'I can no denial take, 
When I plead for Jesus' 1 sake." 

But in making our appeals to God for "things agree* 

able to his will," and in the " name of Christ," we 

need and must have the help of the " Holy Ghost." 

No man can "build himself up," or even retain that 

which he already has, without persevering and 

humble prayer. 

4 'Prayer is the Christian's vital breath, 
The Christian's native air." 

If the vitalizing respiration of this "native air' 5 
should cease, the Christian would droop and die. 
Hence he must " pray without ceasing." Sin must 
be confessed and forsaken. God's great benefits must 
be acknowledged with grateful thanksgiving. Ap- 
proaching the mercy-seat with humility, sincerity, 
importunity, and faith in the atoning blood of 
Christ, with all malice and envy and hatred aban- 
doned, and seeking the help of the Holy Ghost, our 
prayers shall be heard and rich mercy and grace 
received. " What things soever ye desire, when ye 
pray believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have 
them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye 
have aught against any : that your Father also 
which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses* 



Christian Character. 21 

But if ye do not forgive, neither will your father in 
heaven forgive your trespasses." 0! how sad to see 
a man kneeling before the great God asking for the 
forgiveness of his sins, when his heart is filled with 
bitterness and wrath towards his fellow-man ! How 
many repeat the Lord's Prayer with sin and Satan 
in their hearts ! ! God 5 help us to forgive that we 
may he forgiven ! 

"Keep yourselves in the love of Gog." 

This grand result is to be accomplished by faith- 
fully performing all our duties ; patiently bearing all 
our crosses, trials and sufferings ; cheerfully submit' 
ting to God's will concerning us ; and by " looking 
for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal 
life." Our duties to God, ourselves, the church and 
the world must be diligently and faithfully perform- 
ed. We must " trample under foot that enthusias- 
tic doctrine " which teaches " that we are not to do, 
good unless our hearts are free to it." We must, 
obey God, whether " our hearts are free to it " or not. 
Our hearts must be compelled to do and suffer God's- 
will. The will of God is the rule of life, and we must 
walk by this rule. The approbation of God is not 
merited by our efforts to do his will ; but without 
these efforts the favor of God cannot be retained. 
While good works cannot merit the blessings of 
God's favor, they are necessary to show that we have 
obtained and do noiv retain God's favor. They cannot 
go before and justify us before God ; but they are ev- 
idences that we have been justified by faith in Christ. 

The tree is good because it has been grafted into 

2 



22 North Carolina Sermons. 

Christ; and good works show that the tree is alive 
and bearing fruit. If good works cease in the life, this 
will prove that the tree has been severed from Christ, 
and is under his curse. Therefore, it is absolutely 
necessary to keep our hearts and lives in living connec- 
tion with the blood of atonement, that we may "grow 
in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus 
Christ." The works we perform and the sufferings 
we endure for Christ's sake, tend to keep us in our 
proper relation and place: show our union with 
Christ, and that we are flourishing in all the vigor 
of Christian life ; and bearing fruit to the honor 
and glory of God, and blessing mankind. Thus, 
"keeping ourselves in the love of God," we increase- 
in strength ; and assisted by the grace and spirit of 
God, go forward in the grand work of " building up 
ourselves on our most holy faith." Soon the work 
will be done, whether well done or not. God grant 
that the cap-stone may be laid in its appropriate 
place, amid the shoutings of angels and men ; and 
then standing in the "image and likeness" of Christ, 
the building completed, we shall remain forever 
glorified and demonstrate the power of God to save 
from sin. 

! let us all labor to " keep ourselves in the love 
-of God," and exhibit in our lives the fruits and 
graces of the Spirit; and thus call back a lost race 
to God and heaven ! 

. " Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ 
unto eternal life" This language directs the mind 
and heart to the medium and channel through which 



Christian Character. 23 

We may reach the source of all good, obtain supplies 
for life and godliness, and secure a glorious destiny 
of eternal good. Much good may be secured and 
enjoyed in this life. The reward of Christian effort 
begins as soon as we give ourselves to God. Virtue 
has its reward in this world as well as the world to 
come. Vice also has its reward here as well as here- 
after. The way of the " transgressor is hard," not 
simply because he will be punished in eternity ; but 
also because every transgression of God's law is de- 
veloping and strengthening the evil that is- in and 
over him and lessoning the probabilities of his return 
to God; while they constantly and certainly multi- 
ply the probabilities of his final destruction. He 
that '" soweth to the Spirit" shall not only " reap 
eternal life " in a future state ; but as he sows, he re- 
ceives the divine blessing, and harvests of spiritual 
good are waving about him, and are constantly be- 
ing gathered even here. As the Christian, therefore, 
is faithful in the discharge of all the duties which 
he owes to God and man, he grows in all the graces 
and virtues of Christian character ; and in the ratio 
of his growth and advancement in the service of God 
will be his reward here and hereafter. "The righteous 
shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands 
shall be stronger and stronger." " The path of the 
just is as the shining light that shineth more and 
more unto the perfect day." The blessed principles 
3f the Gospel which have sustained and cheered the 
man of God as he has been employed in the w T ork of 
the Lord here, amid life's vicissitudes, will be present 



2-1 . North Carolina Sermons. 

to give him hope, peace and joy in the hour of death,- 
He shall see with inexpressible delight, over the 
arch-way of the gate of death, in letters of golden 
beauty, the thrilling song of glorious triumph : "0 I 
death, where is thy sting I ! grave where is thy 
victory ! The sting of death is sin, the strength of 
sin is the law : but thanks be unto God which giveth 
us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 

"Jesus, the vision of thy face 
Hath overpowering charms ! 
Scarce shall I feel Death's cold emhrace, 
If Christ he in my arms. 

Then, while ye hear my hcartstring's hreak 

How sweet my minutes roll, 
A mortal paleness on ray cheek 

Ami glory in my soul." 

And then, beyond death and the grave — beyond 
earth and time — the good man, ranking the angels 
and standing next the throne of God, shall be 
crowned with glory. And then on through the end- 
less cycles of increasing glory and augmenting bliss 7 
in company with unfallen angels and the redeemed 
and glorified from every age and nation — and bap- 
tized with light and love from the "face of God and 
the Lamb," — shall remember that all this unspeak- 
able blessedness came to him as the result of "look- 
ing for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto 
eternal life;" and still "looking," he shall shout "unto 
him that loved us and washed us in his own blood, 
and made us kings and priests unto God, be glory 
forever" 



Moral Character. 



lo 



THE FIXEDNESS OF MORAL CHARACTER. 

By R. L. Abeesethy, D. D., 
(Of the N. C. Local Ministers' Conference.) 



He that is unjust, let him be unjust still : and he that is filthy, let 
trim be filthy still : and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: 
and he that is holy, let him be holy stilL — Rev. 22 : 11. 

It was Plato who first discovered a dualism among 
the entities and principles of the universe. To every 
reflecting mind the arrangement seems to be a ra- 
tional necessity. Every positive implies a negative; 
and these terms are so correlated that the one can 
only be known through the real or imaginary ex- 
istence of the other. Light and darkness, heat and 
cold, height and depth, large and small, are dualis- 
tic terms in nature exhibiting physical relations re- 
ciprocally dependant upon each other. So, too, in 
"the intellectual world, we have knowledge and ig- 
norance, wisdom and folly, learning and not learn- 
ing, development and undevelopment, all of which 
indicate similar relations of different states or grades 
of intellectual advancement. 

The same principle obtains in moral relations ; 
and our text is only an expression of certain grades 
or states of moral character that have been attained 
during man's probationary 7 existence, and which 
shall be announced by the Judge at the last day, 
fixing man's destiny without the possibility of change 
in grade to all eternity. He who, when weighed in 



26 North Carolina Sermons; 

the scales of eternal justice, shall be found " unjust,"" 
shall be pronounced to hold that elemental grade in 
all the coming cycles of the future. He that is- 
" filthy " before the throne of the Eternal Judge, 
shall drag his moral carcass of foulness and stench,, 
riveted to his immortal nature, through the un- 
quenchable fires of the damned, forever. He whose- 
undying nature has been unfolded along the line of 
true righteousness and holiness,, shall stand before 
the throne fixed in the moral habitudes of righteous- 
ness and holiness forever. There can possibly be 
no change of grade in moral character beyond the- 
bour of men's dying. 

In discussing this important subject, we propose 
to consider and illustrate certain propositions which 
seem to grow out of this text. 

1. Though death produces great changes in the physical} 
mid mental natures of man, yet it leaves his moral nature- 
entirely unchanged. 

This proposition, we admit, is in direct opposition 
to certain dogmas of the Romish church which teach 
the necessity of purgatorial fires somewhere in 
Pluto's dominions, unknown to the Protestant 
world, to burn out these objectionable elements of 
human depravity, during the interim between death 
and the general judgment. 

There are others, too, in the Protestant church, 
who hold that Christians cannot live without sin ; 
but that, in passing through the trying ordeal of 
death, there is some process of divine operation, un- 
known to us. through which the soul is cleansed and 



Moral Character. 27 

fitted for association with the holy beings in the 
kingdom of God. 

To say the least of this latter opinion, it stands in 
direct opposition to the whole tenor of Scripture, 
while at the same time it either logically transfers a 
portion of Christ's work 121 man's salvation to quite 
a different field assigned it by the Scriptures, or en- 
tirely removes the necessity of His aid in man's 
complete redemption. 

As it regards the former opinion, we would gladly 
spread the mantle of Christian charity over the 
dogma and its advocates, and attribute so gross an 
absurdity to a misconception of the divine oracles, 
did not the records and character of this class of 
religionists bid us think otherwise. 

In discussing this text, we shall attempt to sustain 
our proposition — 

First. From the phenomenon of sleep. 

Without entering into a philosophic discussion of 
sleep, all must admit that it is a state of unconscious- 
ness. In this respect it is the symbol of death ; for, 
as far as we can judge from outward appearances, 
death is an unconscious state. Whether the soul in 
its intellectual and moral essences, maintains a state 
of separate organization and consciousness from the 
body during the rest of the body in the grave, is 
not now under discussion. All we wish at present 
to assume is, that death, like sleep, is an unconscious 
state. But during a state of sleep there are no 
changes wrought in man's moral nature. His bodily 
powers have been recuperated and his mental nature 



2S North Carolina Sermons. 

has been revived. Yet be awakes from a night's 
slumber with all bis moral feelings, habitudes and 
aspirations unchanged. 

Secondly. We argue this proposition from a state 
of insanity, 

There is certainly a wide difference physiologi- 
cally between a state of sleep and a state of insanity 
in man. Yet in regard to the power to recognize 
moral relations, the only grounds upon which moral 
character is formed, both states are the same. In 
sleep man lives a vegetable life onl} r , with all the 
functions of intellectual and moral life entirely sus- 
pended. In a state of insanity man lives an animal 
life, w 7 ith the powers of moral recognitions suspend- 
ed. In the former condition, his intellectual and 
moral powers are both dead to oar mode of living 
existence. In the latter condition, his moral powers 
are dead, because the bases upon which they rest 
have been suspended. In both cases, he is, so far as 
the power to recognize moral relations is concerned, 
as if he w 7 ere literally dead. And yet, do we not re- 
member cases of long standing where the subject 
when awaking to a state of sanity again, exhibited 
all the characteristics of moral character unchanged, 
with which he entered that state? 

Thirdly. We have an argument in favor of this 
proposition upon the physiolog} 7 of our being. 

The doctrine of waste and renewal in the human 
body, an idea so consonant with the analogies of 
universal nature, cannot, we think, be questioned 
by any intelligent person. According to this view 



Moral Character. 29 

we are constantly dying in a physical sense. Our 
entire body dies and passes away from every two to 
seven years. And yet, the sinner of seven years ago, 
unchanged by divine grace, is the same sinner to- 
day, only more fixed in his courses of vice. He has 
died physically, and yet his moral identity has re- 
mained unchanged. 

2. The moral characters we form in this life go with us 
into eternity and shall remain unchanged forever, only be- 
coming more intensified as we advance in the future. 

We discuss the truth of this proposition, 

First. From the nature of probation itself. 

We can have a conception of but one eternal, in- 
finite and perfect intelligence. Such a being admits 
of no progression, no advancement. Such a being 
is God. He is the same yesterday, to-day and for- 
ever, All other moral intelligences must have been 
created in an undeveloped state, so as to fill out a 
dualistic relation between what we might denomi- 
nate a moral zero and perfection. This period of 
duration constitutes the probation of any created 
moral intelligence. During this period, he must be 
circumscribed by laws peculiar to his own sphere. 
If he pass this period safely, he reaches a state of 
perfection beyond all possibility of falling. His 
moral character is then fixed to all eternity, without 
the possibility of change. Such, we conceive, is 
man's condition in our present state. 

Secondly. We discuss the truth of this proposition 
from the testimony of Nature herself. 

The tendency of Nature is to a fixed condition of 



30 North Carolina Sermons. 

things, The little acorn containing elemental se- 
cretions from every organ of the parent tree, falls 
into the earth and there awaits the action of chem- 
ical laws for its development. There is no tree in 
that acorn. It is only a bundle of undeveloped pos- 
sibilities. Light and caloric play upon these con- 
fined elements ; atoms move among each other in 
accordance to natural laws ; little rootlets shoot 
themselves into the earth and draw up nourishment, 
while tiny leaflets peep up into the sun's light and 
breathe the atmosphere like a living animal. The 
oak thus continues to enlarge and spread its mighty 
boughs toward the bending heavens till finally it 
reaches a certain stature when it becomes fixed in 
growth and form, and there is no law of which we 
are cognizant to change it back again into an acorn. 

See the little child upon its mother's knee. It is 
neither a man nor a woman as yet. It sleeps, eats, 
drinks and grows till finally it reaches thestature of 
complete manhood, when it becomes fixed unchange- 
ably in all time. The sun rises in the east and the 
day enters upon a probation. In a few fleeting 
hours he hides himself behind the western hills, and 
the day is fixed in the calendar of eternity forever. 
So, too, with old time and man. Eternity will soon 
close upon each, and man's destiny is fixed forever 
in heaven or in hell. 

3. The moral characters we form here, going with us 
into eternity and remaining unchanged, shall become the 
chief grounds of our happiness or misery forever. 

We are, under the influence of good and evil, the 



Moral Character. 31 

arbiters of our own destiny. Oar future home will 
not be so much a gift, upon the one hand to the 
good, and a sentence, upon the other to the bad, as 
it will be an arrangement of our future destiny in 
strict conformity to the eternal laws of the fitness in 
tilings. The righteous go into heaven and the wick- 
ed into hell as naturally as water flows into water ; 
and the text is simply the decisive announcement of 
results attained during our trial state upon earth. 
The good, in conformity to moral law, have formed 
characters suitably adapted to the exercises and en- 
joyments of the beings in the home of God; while 
the wicked, disregarding the requirements of moral 
law, have taken upon themselves, and affixed to 
their immortal natures, habitudes of thought and feel- 
ing diametrically opposed to the nature and char- 
acter of the ever blessed God. Upon this lawless 
and abnormal development of the ungodly, his hell 
is based. The corrupted appetites, lusts and pas- 
sions of the hell-bound sinner, now being affixed to 
his nature, will be carried by himself into the nega- 
tive dominions of the damned, to find naught upon 
which to satiate their burning, corroding thirst- 
Turning then upon the soul itself, they become the 
" worm that never dies/' with its ten thousand snaky 
heads, and as many tails as heads, all tipped with 
stings, forked, and long, and venomous, and sharp ; 
and, as the soul writhes and bleeds and groans for- 
ever, it is continually transpierced by sting of head 
or tail. 

The tendency of the age is to erase, if possible. 



32 North Carolina Sermons. 

from the human mind the idea of a hell of fire and 
brimstone. In the light of this text, the difficulty 
would not be removed. The ungodly carries a hell 
in his own bosom, even under the modifying influ- 
ences of God's Eternal Spirit. Beyond the gates of 
death all moral restraint ceases forever, and then, 
•0, my soul ! what a terrible outgushing of the pent 
up fires of the lost soul will be to the ungodly ! 
Remorse, despair, anger and wrath will prey upon 
the guilty soul, as it writhes amidst the woes of the 
damned, gazing upon the thunder-scarred walls of 
its prison-house, and reading in letters of living fire 
its destiny-dooming sentence, sparkling forever 1 
Its wails will rise, forever and ever, and its tears 
shall forever fall, "but not in mercy's sight." Re- 
pentance and Despair, as if to assuage the pangs of 
the wretched lost, shall walk the regions of unfading 
fire, presenting cups of burning gall to all their 
parched lips. Virtue, hoiy maid of heaven, shall 
stand before each face which way soever he may 
turn, to let these wretched beings see how much 
they have lost; and ever anon the thunders of God's 
eternal wrath fall upon each ear with these words: 
" In yonder's life, ye knew your duty but did it not." 

O, sinner, turn; why will ye die? 

4. The doctrine of this text is a satisfactory answer to 
the objection of the Vniversalists, that " God would be un- 
just to inflict an eternity of punishment upon a sinner for 
a finite act of transgression." 

We admit the truth of the objection ; and yet, in 



Moral Character, 3-3 

the light of this subject, we think we can see why a 
sinner should be eternally punished. 

Sin arises from a refusal, upon the part of an in- 
telligent being, to meet moral obligation or duty. 
This refusal to meet obligation depends upon the 
status of the human will. The outward action is 
not the sin ; it is only the outcropping of depravity,, 
indicating the moral state of the will. The sinner, 
therefore, is a sinner, because his will is opposed to 
God's will. Every act, therefore, that he does, and 
every thought that passes through his mind is sin, 
no matter what may be the character of the outw r ard 
act. This accords with the declaration of the Apos- 
tle, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him." 
Another divine writer says that "Every imagination 
of the heart is evil, and only evil, and that contin- 
ually." 

The sinner, then,, is a sinner, because his will is 
opposed to God's will. He is sent to hell because 
he is a sinner. 

But we have previously shown that the moral 
character of the sinner remains unchanged in hell 
forever. His character depending upon the status 
of the will shows that the will must stand unchanged 
forever. It must, therefore, logically follow that the 
sinner sins on in hell forever; and his moral de- 
servings, keeping pace with his sinning, demand 
eternal punishment. 

And now unto Him who is able to save all to the 
uttermost that come unto God through Him, be 
present and eternal praises. Amen. 



34 North Carolina Sermons. 



APOSTASY. 

By Rev, R, G, Barrett-, A. M., 
'{Of the North Carolina CoMerence.*) 



For it is impossible for those who were once "enlightened, and have 
tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy 
Ghost, 

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world 
'to come, 

If they shall fall away, to renew them again Unto repentance; see- 
ing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to 
an open shataa-Hek vi : 4, 5, 6. 

There are those who seem to think the apostle is 
speaking of backsliders in these verses. This, how- 
ever, is a mistake ; he is not speaking of backsliders, 
but of apostates. To illustrate this statement, let us 
suppose a case : Suppose a man should profess reli- 
gion, join the church, and live a consistent Christian 
life for ten years, but at the end of that period 
should fall into sinful habits, and commit evils that 
would exclude him from the church, yet should ac- 
knowledge the Bible to be true, aiid still hold Jesus 
Christ to be the true Messiah and the only Saviour of 
sinners ; is there anything in the way of renewing 
him again unto repentance? Surely not. He is a 
backslider; but he may return to God, by repent- 
ance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ* 
He has not denied the existence of God ; nor has he 
rejected and counted Christ an imposter. The 
apostle here places no barrier in the way of his re- 
turn. Nor does the Bible anywhere teach that the 
backslider may not retrace his steps. The text, 



Apostasy. 35 

therefore, does not refer to that class of persons at 

all. 

But take another case. Suppose a man, after pro- 
fessing the Christian religion, joining the church 
and living a consistent life for a number of years, 
should renounce his profession and fall into a course 
of sin and wickedness, and openly pronounce the 
Bible to be false and Jesus Christ to be the veriest 
imposter; is it possible for him to repent? Why, 
he is an apostate! He has no Saviour, he has re- 
nounced the only Name given under heaven where- 
by men can be saved. May he return ? To whom 
can he go for salvation? Has he not spurned the 
only Saviour offered to man, or that ever will be 
offered ? This is the character described in the text, 
the apostate : he cannot be renewed again unto re- 
pentance, " it is impossible," "seeing he has cruci- 
fied the Lord afresh and put him to an open shame." 

The question before us, therefore, relates to apos- 
tasy from the Christian religion. The apostle evi- 
dently teaches this doctrine in our text. He teaches 
that christians may apostatize from the faith, yea, 
that they have apostatized. For consider the im- 
port of the terms employed ; the terms " enlighten- 
ed," " tasted of the heavenly gift," " partakers of the 
Holy Ghost," " tasted the good word of God and the 
powers of the world to come." These terms certainly 
appear to describe christians; they are such as are 
generally used in the scriptures to describe chris- 
tians — persons who have been converted, who have 
been pardoned, who have experienced the washing 



36 North Carolina Sermons. 

of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. 
And, if there were any doubt as to the true meaning 
of these terms, the apostle goes on in the text speak- 
ing of the same persons as having once repented ; 
else, what does he mean by the expression " to renew 
them again unto repentance," if these very same 
"once enlightened" persons had never repented? 
So we conclude that the persons described by the 
Apostle in the text were fully pardoned and thor- 
oughly regenerated christians. Now mark you ! 
these christians fell away ; not only backslid, but 
apostatized utterly : for the expression in the text, 
" if they shall fall away," should be translated, and 
have fallen away. It should be in the past tense. 
Dr. McKnight, a Calvinist, but a candid man, so 
translates it. Dr. Clarke endorses him. And the lat- 
ter learned divine severely criticises our translators 
for their want of candor, and for their undue bias to- 
wards the dogma called the "perseverance of the 
saints." So it is quite possible, according to the 
teaching of the apostle in this text, for christians to 
apostatize, to utterly fall away, to " fall from grace." 
And, it is to be observed, the Scriptures fully sus- 
tain the apostle in this view. We cite a few pas- 
sages: "Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the 
salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be 
salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to 
be cast out and trodden under foot of men." It is 
implied here that salt may lose " his savor ;" and 
is it not a known fact that it sometimes does ? So 
it is alike implied that christians may lose their 



Apostasy. 37 

religion; and is it not so that some men do, and 
are thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out? 
" Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and 
blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men : but the blas- 
phemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven 
unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against 
the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him : but who- 
soever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not 
be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in 
the world to come." This passage seems to doom 
the apostate irretrievably. "If a man abide not in 
me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered ; 
and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, 
and they are burned." We must abide in Christ, or 
be cast into the fire ; we seem to be left to our own 
option about it. " For if we sin wilfully after that 
we have received the knowledge of the truth, there 
remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain 
fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indigna- 
tion, which shall devour the adversaries." " For if 
after they have escaped the pollutions of the world 
through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ, they are again entangled therein, and over- 
come, the latter end is worse with them than the 
beginning. For it had been better for them not to 
have known the way of righteousness, than, after 
they have known it, to turn from the holy com- 
mandment delivered unto them. But it is happened 
unto them according to the true proverb, The dog 
is turned to his own vomit again ; and the sow that 
was washed to her wallowing in the mire." " They 

o 

a 



38 North Carolina Sermons. 

that forsake the Lord shall be consumed." But why 
multiply quotations on this subject. Neither is 
there need for comments on these quotations ; their 
import is plain and conclusive. And the learned 
Dr. Clark well adds : " Were there no Scripture ex- 
press on this subject, the nature of the present state 
of man, which is a state of 'probation or trial, must 
necessarily imply it,"— that is, must imply apostasy. 
" Let him who most assuredly standeth, take heed 
lest he fall." 

The contrary doctrine, therefore, that of the 
" perseverance of the saints," is erroneous. God is 
consistent. The doctrines of the Bible do not clash, 
do not conflict one with another. The conflict is 
with the creeds of men. There is the rub. Men go 
to the Bible with their opinions already formed, in- 
stead of going to it to find out what it teaches, and 
then form their opinions. This is reversing the or- 
der. It is an effort to make God conform to man's 
views. But mark you, God does not teach the ab- 
solute certainty of apostasy in one breath, and then 
in the next contradict himself! Never! That is 
characteristic of men ; that is what men often do ; 
they often contradict themselves. But God never 
does. It is difficult to find the Scripture, indeed 
there is none, that plainly and positively declares the 
" unconditional perseverance of the saints." " For 
I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor an- 
gels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things pres- 
ent, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth] nor 
any other creature, shall be able to separate us from 



Apostasy 



,he love of God, which is in Christ Jesus war Lord," 
is about the strongest, most plausable, and the one 
most frequently offered in support of this dogma of 
men. This passage has been complimented as the 
most sublime and beautiful ever uttered by the 
apostle Paul, and is said to surpass anything of the 
kind ever produced by Grecian sages or Roman ora- 
tors. But does this deny or contradict the plain 
statement of our text, that christians " have fallen 
away," have utterly apostatized from the faith? 
Most assuredly not. The passage, at most, is only a 
poor, presumptive argument in favor of " persever- 
ance," and -does not give the shadow of support to 
the idea of " unconditional perseverance." Does the 
apostle mean to say that it is impossible for God to 
remove his love from us ? or that it is impossible 
for us to remove our love from him ? Or does he 
mean both, that God's affection cannot be separated 
from us, and that our affection cannot be separated 
from God? He cannot mean either; for he is 
speaking of agents outside of God, and of us. He 
says these outside agents cannot separate us from the 
love of God, He is speaking of what third parties 
cannot effect in the case ; and not of what God can 
do in the matter, nor of what we ourselves can do. 
Before this, or any other passage in the Bible, can 
be made to prove "unconditional perseverance," it 
must first be shown that becoming a christian de- 
stroys the free agency of man ; it must be shown 
that man, once a christian, loses all power to do any 
wrong for which he may be held responsible ; that 



40 North Carolina" Sermons. 

lie loses all power to love the world more than he 
loves God ; that he loses all power to backslide ; that 
he cannot apostatize. But such a conclusion is in 
direct conflict with our text, which positively de- 
clares the doctrine of apostasy. And as it is more 
likely that men misinterpret the Bible than that 
God should contradict himself, we nmst conclude 
that the " unconditional perseverance of the saints"" 
is a doctrine of men, without any foundation in the 
sacred Scriptures for its support. Therefore, those 
who go about teaching " onco in Christ, always iia 
Christ," just because they have heard others say so,- 
and not because they have examined the Scriptures 
and find it to be true,- deserve to be censured. The 
simple are led by such teachers to embrace wrong 
notions of God, of religion, of duty, and of responsi- 
bility. " And if the blind lead the blind, both shall 
fall into the ditch." The people should be taught 
the principles of the Bible. Christians should be 
warned of the danger of back-sliding, of the dreadful 
possibility of apostasy, and not be told perpetually 
that there is no danger of falling. " Comfort ye f 
'comfort ye, my people," but do not tell them that 
■their " waifare is accomplished," that the "battle is- 
fought," th-at the victory is achieved, while they are 
still in a state of probation, while they are yet on trial : 
rather exhort them to " watch and pray," lest they 
enter into temptation and "make shipwreck con- 
cerning faith." " For it is impossible to renew again 
unto repentance those who have fallen away, seeing 
they crucify to themselves" — in their own mind— 



Ftjture Felicity. 41 

"the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open 
shame." That is, they inwardly approve and eon- 
sent to his crucifixion, a crucifixion both public and 
shameful. It is impossible to restore them to a sec- 
ond repentance while they remain in this state of 
mind, which is precisely the state -of mind the Jew 
was in when he cried "crucify him'! crucify him!" 
I do not say, however, that the apostate is predes- 
tinated to remain in this state of mind. The apostle 
•does not say that he is. He onty says salvation is 
impossible to him while be remains in that state of 
•mind. It may be traa, therefore, that " while the 
lamp holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may re- 
turn," not -excepting even the apostate. 



A PRESENT KNOWLEDGE OF FUTURE 
FELICITY. 

By B. York, I>. D., 
(Of the North G&rolma Local Ministers" Conference.) 



'For we know that if ©ur earthly house of this tabernacle were dis- 
solved, we have a building of Ged,a house nottmade^-ith hands, eter- 
nal in the heavens.— 2 Cor. v. L 

Mutation, or the law of change, is indelibly writ- 
ten on all things earthly : the fr gile flower, un- 
folding its delicate petals to kiss the morning dew, 
may fade ere it is noon.; and its fragrance and 



42 North Carolina Sermons. 

beauty perish together. The centenary flower,, 
which is one hundred years in blooming, only for a 
few minutes remains full-blown, and then closes its 
petals to be seen no more. The leaf now so* fresh 
and green, within the lapse of a few months, is- des- 
tined not only to fade and change its color, but also 
to drop from its- parent stem, and, falling to the 
ground, mingle in common dust with all its prede- 
cessors. The forest trees, now so gaily attired in 
their verdant robes, will soon be dismantled of all 
their beauty, and the wintry winds sigh through 
their leafless boughs. Nor are these constant mu- 
tations confined to the vegetable kingdom ; for man,. 
though created in the image of his glorious creator, 
is subject to similar changes: he is compared in 
Scripture to grass, to the flower of the field, and to- 
the fleeting vapor. Hence ihe poet— 

""Life is «i span, a fleeting hour : 
How soon the vapor flies ! 
Man is a tender transient flower' 
That e'en in blooming dies.'" 

Man is the most beautiful and expressible object 
in nature ; but alas how soon his beauty vanishes I 
From the fair cheek of } r outb, the rosy tints may 
fade by sickness, in a day ; the eyes, sparkling with 
youthful vivacity, joy and hope, will grow dim with 
age, and glaze in death ; the raven locks or golden 
curls falling in graceful festoons upon the fair neck,, 
will turn gray by the frosts of many winters, and 
the erect form stoop beneath the accumulated weighi 
of years. 



Future Felicity. 43 

It is consoling to the sorrowful heart to look be- 
yond this scene of fading, changing and dying, to 
the shining shore and fadeless beauty beyond the 
river. 

u O, the transporting, rap'trous scene 
That rises to m} r sight; 
Sweet fields arrayed in living green, 
And rivers of delight." 

To these glorious scenes, our text directs our 
thoughts. 

There is a perceptible difference between faith and 
knowledge : " Faith," as defined by the apostle, " is 
the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of 
things not seen ;" and, when the evidence is suffi- 
ciently clear, strong and harmonious, it challenges 
our belief; nor can we withhold our assent to the 
truth of the proposition, though we may not ac- 
knowledge it. Knowledge is the result of the com- 
bined evidence of the outward senses and internal 
consciousness: what we see, hear and feel, we do not 
say we believe ; but we know. Hence the poet — 

"What we have felt and seen 
With confidence we tell. 
And publish to the sons of men 
The signs infallible." 

There is also a marked difference between mathe- 
matical or physical knowledge and moral knowledge. 
If we know that a triangle is equal to two right an- 
gles, we not only know that it is so now, but we 
know that it has always been, and always will be; 



44 "North Carolina Sermons. 

for the relation of the parts never changes. If the 
relation of the parts change, the triangle will cease 
to be a triangle, and the right angle will cease to be 
arightangle; consequently a different thing. Again, 
if a body at rest be struck with two equal forces at 
right angles with the acting forces, the body so af- 
fected must move; but the tendency to obey the one 
is equal to that of the other ; hence it must move in 
a line equally distant from those marked by the im- 
pinging forces — that is, in the diagonal of a square — • 
and, if we know this, we shall know it forever, or as 
long as we know anything. 

But we can not say so much for moral knowledge ; 
for you may know to day that you have a good and 
sufficient title to your real estate : but you may not 
know this a week or even a day hence ; for you may 
voluntarily transfer your title to another, and then 
you cannot know what does not exist. The sinner 
may know to-day that he is a sinner, that he is a 
violator of the moral law, consequently exposed to 
the wrath of God ; but he may not know this to- 
morrow ; for, by repentance towards God and faith 
in our Lord Jesus Christ, the relation which he sus- 
tains to God may be changed from that of a blind 
child of the wicked one to a son or daughter of the 
Lord Almighty ; and, on the other hand, you may 
know to-day that you are a child of God and au heir 
of heaven, but you may not know this to-morrow ; 
for you ma}^ wilfully sin, and thus cease to be a 
son or daughter of God. Now since the relation 
of the parties has changed the title to the hcav- 



Future Felicity. 45 

enly inheritance, which is the result of that relation 
is forfeited ; consequently cannot be known. 

We know,— who know ? We. We do not know 
what Paul knew as an inspired apostle; but we 
know what Paul knew as a christian, and what is the 
exalted privilege of every christian to know. 

What do we know ? We know that. That taken 
abstractly means nothing, but taken concretely it 
means much, very much ; for it is a substitute for 
the clause we have a building of God, a house not made 
with hands eternal in the heavens. Drop that and the 
involved clause, and read, we know we have a build- 
ing of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in 
the heavens; and this is the glorious object of the 
christian's knowledge. The object of the christian's 
knowledge is of surpassing excellence; its value 
cannot be estimated— compared to it, the wealth of 
worlds is but a gaudy toy. 

But how do we know that we have a building of God. 
a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens f 
This knowledge is based on the knowledge of a fact 
necessarily antecedent to the former, viz : the knowl- 
edge of sins forgiven, a knowledge that we have 
passed from death unto life, that our relation to God 
has been changed, and we have become the sons and 
daughters of the Lord Almighty. Now, in virtue 
of our sonship, we are heirs of God, and joint heirs 
with the Lord Jesus Christ, and, as our heavenly 
Father has many mansions in his house, in virtue 
of our heirship, we know we have a mansion in 
heaven, a house not made with hands. This knowl- 



46 North Carolina Sermons. 

edge is satisfactory ; it rests upon a foundation that 
cannot be moved nor shaken ; it pours a full tide of 
consolation and joy in the believing soul ; it enables 
the christian to look calmly and undismayed upon 
his fast-decaying earthly house, knowing that he has 
a better house, a fairer mansion located in a better 
country, and that, when his earthly house shall have 
been dissolved, he will be translated to his heavenly 
home, "be clothed in upon with his house which is 
from heaven," and though absent from the body 
he will ever be present with the Lord, which is far 
better. 

But another question may arise in the minds of 
some : Can a sinner know his sins on earth forgiven? 
We answer in the affirmative, he can. Then how 
can he know that his sins are forgiven ? If one has 
a pain in the head or arm, or is sick, he does not 
send for his family physician to tell him what he 
already knows; but how does he know it? He 
knows it by his consciousness; and if the pain cease, 
or the sick man become well, he needs no one to in- 
form him of that fact, for his consciousness satisfac- 
torily testifies to it ; but his consciousness cannot 
tell him what caused the pain, or what caused it to 
cease— if he knows this he must know it from some 
other source; for consciousness can only testify to 
the fact itself — beyond this it is an incompetent wit- 
ness. In like manner the sinner who sees himself 
as he is — who apprehends the full extent of the dan- 
ger, to which his sins have exposed him, who feels 
the burden of his guilt, the heavy load of sin press- 



Future Felicity. 47 

ing upon him — knows he is- a sinner, and if this 
load of sin be removed, he knows it; bat how does 
he know it? He knows it by his consciousness or 
the witness of his own spirit, (I use the terms con- 
sciousness and spirit as synonyms) but, as his spirit 
can only testify to the change which has taken place, 
or the fact itself, there is need of another witness to 
testif}' what this change is, and this witness is the 
Spirit itself bearing witness with bis spirit that this 
change is the new birth, the pardon of all his sins, 
and the full assurance that he has passed from death 
unto life. Hence the pardoned sinner can now say 
with full confidence, I know that God, for Christ's 
sake, has pardoned my sins. 

But to illustrate: Mr. A has a litigated case in- 
volving all his temporal interest, which is to be tried 
m a foreign court to which he can have no personal ac- 
cess ; but there is an attorney who practices in that 
court whom he can employ as counsel; to him he 
sends his plea and has it recorded according to law, 
together with his affidavits, by which he hopes to 
make good his plea ahd gain his suit. The time 
for trial arrives, the court sits, the case is tried, and 
one hastens to inform Mr. A that his suit has been 
tried, and, according to rumor, decided in his favor; 
this information may afford A some consolation by 
inspiring additional hope, but it is b}' no means 
satisfactory ; for, though the informant testifies to 
the fact itself, he leaves the result involved in a mist 
of uncertainty, since rumor is not a reliable source 
of information, nor was the informant authorized to 



48 North Carolina Sermons. 

communicate the result to the plaintiff; but in the 
meantime he receives official documents from his 
attorney that he had gained the suit. This relieves 
him of all suspense and anxiety — dispersing all doubt 
and giving entire satisfaction. So every sinner (and 
we all are sinners or have been) has an important 
suit — having violated the law whose penalty is 
death, not only involving his temporal but also his 
■eternal interest — which is to be tried in the high 
Chancery of Hevaen, to which he can have no per- 
sonal access; but he has an advocate in the court of 
heaven — Jesus, the friend of sinners — to him he can 
apply or present his case, and through him, and 
him only, can he approach God ; for God, out of 
Christ, is a consuming fire. 

But what is the sinner's plea? The only plea 
which he can make that will avail, the one which 
every sinner must make who sues for pardon, is the 
•death of Christ. His death is vicarious: it satisfied 
the law, appeased divine justice, and reconciled God 
the Father to man. But the sinner must be recon- 
ciled to God, for the carnal mind is enmity to God; 
it is not subject to his law, neither indeed can be. 

The humble penitent approaching the throne of 
grace — the mercy seat, the altar of prayer — may 
successfully urge his plea, Jesus died ! He died 
even for me, the chief of sinners. Write it, record- 
ing angel, write it in the book as with a pen of iron 
and with the point of a diamond ; let the blood of 
the atonement be the ink ; there let it remain un- 
blurred and unblotted, with not a single letter erased; 



Future Felicity. 49 

for this is my only hope of salvation. Jesus his ad- 
vocate pleads for him — every wound of Jesus pleads ; 
yes, every drop of blood speaks, and it speaks better 
things than the blood of Abel: the blood of Abel 
cries with trumpet tongue for vengeance — but the 
blood of Jesus pleads for pardon, peace and heaven, 

"Five bleeding wounds he bears, 
Received on Calvary; 
They pour effectual prayers, 

They strongly speak for me ; 
'Forgive him r O forgive,' they cry, 
'Xor let that ransomed sinner doe." 1 

While the sinner is thus agonizing, and urging 
his plea at the altar of prayer, suppose one approach 
him and say, (as some imprudently do,) I believe 
your &ins are pardoned } I believe you have religion, 
can you not arise and tell what Christ has done for 
you I But the language of such a penitent would 
be : I do not feel it, I want to know it • but the load 
of sin is removed, the sinner knows this, his con- 
sciousness or spirit bears testimony to the fact ; but 
beyond this his spirit is an incompetent witness ; 
but the Holy Spirit bears witness with his spirit 
that this change is the pardon of all his sins — the 
regeneration of his nature-— and now, being justified 
by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

Now he can confidently say, I know my sins, 
which were many, are all forgiven ; for in the mouth 
of two or three witnesses every word shall be estab- 
lished. The witness of our spirit and that of the 



50 North Carolina Sermons. 

Holy Spirit are generally simultaneous, nor can any 
difference of time be discriminated; but this is not 
always the case; it was not so in mine, for several 
minutes passed between the removal of the burden 
and the witness of the Spirit; and I have known 
some to go for months after they had been relieved 
from the load of sin before receiving the witness of 
the Spirit. 

In the heavens. The Scriptures speak of three 
heavens: the atmospheric region is called heaven, 
as the fowls of heaven ; the region of the stars is also 
called heaven, as the stars of heaven ; St. Paul speaks 
of a third heaven, the region of perpetual bliss. 

We do not know in what part of the universe 
heaven, or the home of the good, is located, since 
this has not been revealed ; but we know that heaven 
is where Christ is, for his presence makes heaven: 
the display of his glory, the smiles of his face, and 
the raptures of his love would make any place 
heaven. 

"The smilings of thy face, 
How amiable they are I 
'Tis heaven to rest in thine embrace, 
And nowhere else but there." 

Heaven, in the Bible, is generally represented as 
being above. This expression may be used in a 
moral as well as a physical sense. In a moral sense 
it is elevated above all evil, it stands securely high 
above all danger; for neither temptations nor evils 
of any kind can ever reach that high and holy place ; 



Future Felicity. 51 

it is the residence of the holy angels, the bright 
happy home of the soul. 

"All the stormy winds that blow ; 
Every swelling tide of woe, 
All the bitter tears that flow, 
Flow below heaven."' 

Every bloodstained battle field, all the garments 
rolled in blood, the thunders of the death-dealincr 
cannon, the roar of musketry, the clash of resounding 
arms, the sighs and groans of the wounded and dy- 
ing, the shouts of the victors, are all seen and heard 
below heaven. 

Why should he who lives in a deep, dark ravine, 
where but few straggling rays of sunlight can pene- 
trate, dread to ascend to the mountain top, above 
the storm's career, where the thunders roll, and the 
lightnings flash far beneath his feet, and where the 
unclouded sun perpetually shines, scattering ni^ht 
and gloom away? 

Why should the christian, the follower of Christ, 
dread to leave this vale of tears, those scenes of fad- 
ing and dying, and ascend to his bright mansion— 
his heavenly home ? It is true that he will be ab- 
pent from the body of his earthly house, but he will 
be forever present with the Lord of life and glory, 
svhich is infinitely better. 

"Why should we start and fear to die ? 

What tim'rous worms we mortals are ! 
Death is the gate to endless joy, 
And yet we dread to enter there." 



52 North Carolina Sermons. 

" Eternal in the heavens." The crowing glory of 
the heavenly felicity is its duration. How unlike 
the fleeting shadows, fading beauties, and dying 
flowers of earth. 

"These mortal joys bow soon they fade ! 
How swift they pass away ! 
The dying flower reclines its head, 
The beauty of a day." 

But on the shining shore beyond the river, flowers 
forever bloom, celestial fields arrrayed in living 
o-reen. everv face shines with immortal beauty, and 
every eye sparkles with heavenly delight. There is 
no night there ; for 

"God the Son forever reigns 
And scatters night away." 

Who can estimate the value of eternal felicity ? 
of that life which knows no end? of that house 
which never decays nor grows old ? but, like the 
crystal waters of the river of Paradise, flows on for- 
ever ! 

Christians, you have a present knowledge of 'future 
felicity; then, with you this happiness has already 
commenced. One has said, and not without reason,j 
the way to heaven is heaven, it is heaven begun,J 
heaven in miniature. Then press with vigor on, 
till you gain the crown, and reap the golden harvest] 
of a well spent life. 

Those of you who have never tasted that the Lord 
is good, have never realized the joys of pardoned sin, 
turn your wayward feet from the pathway of de- 



The Mission of Christ. 53 

s'truction, and seek God while he may be found, and 
call upon him while he is near; for time is short, 
but eternity is long. The lost are miserable, but 
the saved are happy, Then choose life and live. 



THE END FOR WHICH CHRIST CAME. 

By Rev. J. R. Brooks, 
Of the North Carolina Conference. 



lam come that they might have life, and that they might have it 
more abundantly.— John x: 10. 

The coming spoken of in the text may refer re- 
motely to what the Son of God, as Mediator, did for 
oar race before His incarnation. It probably, how- 
ever, refers chiefly to His manifestation and sacrifice 
in the flesh — to His incarnation and life, His minis- 
try and death, His resurrection and intercession. 

In the text He tells us the end of His mediation : 
" I am come that they might have life, and that they 
might have it more abundantly." 

The first end and effect of the Saviour's mediation 
is that we have our natural life— our existence as 
moral beings. 

It is not believed that God would ever have created 

man a moral being apart from His purpose and plan 

to redeem him. Redemption was not the result of 

•any after-thought on the part of the Almighty — was 

4 



54 North Carolina Sermons. 

no improvised plan for meeting an unforeseen exi- 
gency in man's affairs. On the contrary, it was 
part of God's "eternal purpose, which He purposed 
in Christ Jesus," concerning our race. Christ is the 
Lamb that was, in the purpose of God, " slain from 
the foundation of the world.'"' There was evidently 
unity of design in creation and redemption. Hence 
it was, probably, that God, by Jesus Christ, created 
as well as redeemed our race. St. Paul more than 
intimates that the Son of God was anointed for both 
these acts in the great drama of human existence. 
And that the Messiah created man with reference to, 
preparatory for, and for the sake of, the glorious re- 
sults of redemption. The attentive reader of his 
epistles to the Ephesians and Collossians will hardly 
fail to notice that the apostle seems to connect both 
these works in man's behalf with each other. Also, 
that he connects both of them with Christ as the 
Author of both, assuring us that man was originally 
s< created by Jesus Christ," and is now "created anew 
in Christ Jesus." 

r But, whether man was created on the basis of the 
atonement or not, it is very certain that he was per- 
mitted to live after the fall only on that basis. For, 
by sin he forfeited the right to life, and the penalty 
of the law would instantly have cut the race off had 
not Christ, by becoming our Substitute, stayed the 
execution of the sentence. And, if justice had not 
demanded the sinner's death, the goodness of God 
would have forbidden the propagation of our race, 
apart from any provision for its holiness and hap- 



The Mission of Christ. 55 

piness. This position is so well sustained by the 
general teaching of God's word that it is not neces- 
sary to quote particular passages. It is very certain 
that every man is born into the world on the basis 
of the atonement, in view of its provisions, and in 
reach of its benefits — that no man would have been 
born had not Christ become his Substitute and Sure- 
ty — had He not agreed to redeem him and bring to 
bear influences adapted to make his existence a bless- 
ing and a success. Christ came and stood for us, 
then, that we might be born into the world, with all 
the glorious possibilities involved in our existence 
as moral beings. He has come that we might come; 
He has lived in the flesh that we might live also. 

A. more important end of Christ's coming is that 
we might have spiritual and eternal life. 

By this is not meant simply spirit life — exist- 
ence as a spirit or a moral being, which has just 
been noticed. But reference is had to that supernat- 
ural and spiritual endowment, whose elements and 
functions are faith in God, and peace with and love 
to Him and man ; that endowment which involves 
or issues in purity of heart, holiness of life, and spir- 
itual happiness. The Messiah did not, through His 
creative or mediatorial work, bring us into being 
under the dire necessity cff dragging out a miserable 
and eternal existence on the low level of sin and 
suffering. But he brings to bear influences that are 
adapted to lift us to the high plane of faith in, and 
communion with God, and of an eternal life of love 
and joy in heaven. 



56 North Carolina Sermons. 

Now, how does the Saviour accomplish this work ? 
He does it, first, by the verbal instructions of His 
ministry and the dramatic teaching of His life and 
death. He does it, secondly, by the atoning and 
propitiatory effect of His sacrifice, and by His inter- 
cession in heaven. 

Let us hold out attention to this point for a min- 
ute. 

First, then, we say Jesus gives us spiritual life 
through the moral effect of His teaching, while liv- 
ing and while d} r ing. 

Two sets of facts or conditions are necessary to the 
existence of every kind of life of which man, while 
in the flesh, is capable. The one set is subjective, 
the other objective. The one inheres in his nature 
—is a part of himself—awhile the other is external 
to him, and is separable from him. Take, for ex- 
ample, physical life. Here we have one of each of 
these conditions, which corresponds with the other, 
in the lungs and the atmosphere. Deprive a man of 
either of these, and lie cannot live and breathe phys- 
ically. His lungs may be perfect, but they will not 
act without the atmosphere. And the atmosphere 
with which he is surrounded may be perfectly 
adapted to sustain physical life, but if he has no 
lungs he cannot breathe *t and live. And if the 
lungs are diseased or the atmosphere is impure, 
the life that is conditioned on them will, to the same 
extent, be unhealthy. 

Take social life. Two of its elements are confi- 
dence and love. To live socially, man must breathe 



The Mission op Christ. 57 

an atmosphere that is adapted to support faith and 
affection. Now, in order to the existence of this life 
in one man, he must have the power to confide in 
and love others. And there must be in others real 
or supposed trustworthiness and lovableness. In 
other words, he must have a. social nature, and others 
must furnish a healthy social atmosphere for that 
nature to breathe. Let either of these conditions be 
lacking, and he cannot live and breathe socially. 
And so would it be universally if there were uni- 
versal lack of either of these conditions. And if 
either of them were impaired, to the same extent 
would the life be that is based on them. 

This is true of the spiritual life which Jesus came 
to secure for us. For, in very important respects, 
spiritual life is only a higher and purer type of so- 
cial life, God, as well as man, being the object of 
confidence and love in the former. And, of course, 
in order to its existence, the same external and in- 
ternal conditions of life must exist. There must be 
in us the power to confide in and love God, and we 
must see or believe that He is worthy of our confi- 
dence and affection. In other words, we must have 
the power to breathe spiritually, and we must be 
surrounded with a healthy spiritual atmosphere. 
In the absence of either of these conditions, spiritual 
life is impossible to us. And if either of them is de- 
fective, so will be the life that is dependent on them. 

Now, to meet this two-fold necessity of man's case, 
God, in the beginning, established both these con- 
ditions of spiritual life. In creation He endowed 



58 North Carolina Sermons. 

man with the power to believe on and love Him, 
together with all the other faculties that inhere in 
the nature of a moral and responsible being. In a 
revelation made to Adam, He unquestionably estab- 
lished the external conditions of life. It is true we 
know but little of that revelation, but it must have 
been adapted to develop and sustain man's faith in 
and love to God. Adam doubtless saw that God is 
worthy of man's confidence and affection. And, see- 
ing this, he might have lived, and breathed, and 
grown spiritually forever. And he did live and 
grow so long as these external conditions of life re- 
mained intact. 

But Satan threw a vail over God's character and 
obscured its purity and loveliness. He successfully 
attacked the ground of man's faith in God's truth- 
fulness and justice. He said, substantially: "God 
is false. Ye shall not surely die in the day ye eat of 
the forbidden fruit. God is not just. He does not 
hate sin and will not punish your disobedience. Ye 
may with impunity disregard His prohibition." 
He next struck a fatal blow at man's confidence in 
God's goodness and lovableness. He said : " God is 
selfish. He does not wish you to be wise and happy 
like Himself." His exact words were: " God doth 
know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes 
shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing 
good and evil." And having gone thus far, it was 
very natural and easy for him to go a step farther 
and persuade man that, as God is neither holy nor 
good, He will not reward his obedience with a happy 



The Mission of Christ. 59 

Immortality. In this way be represented God as a 
false and hateful Deceiver, rather than as a true and 
unselfish Friend— as one whose threatening^ man 
need not fear, and whose promises he need not be- 
lieve. He thus, in an instant, substituted the oxy- 
gen of truth with the hydrogen of falsehood, in the 
spiritual atmosphere with which man was surround- 
ed. And the result was that man's spiritual lungs 
collapsed, his spiritual heart ceased to beat, and all 
the wheels of his spiritual machinery stood still. 
In other words, man listened to Satan's slanderous 
falsehood touching God's character, and, believing 
that falsehood, he died spiritually. And until the 
atmosphere of truth is restored to him he can never 
live again. He may live on physically; he may 
tower in intellectual grandeur and strength, but 
until this blight of falsehood and distrust is removed, 
he cannot breathe spiritually — he cannot live toward 
God. 

Now, this was what Jesus Christ, by his verbal 
instructions and dramatic teaching did for man. 
He lifted the vail from God's character, and revealed 
anew and more clearly the glory of His holiness 
and the richness of His love. In this way he " de- 
stroyed the works of the devil," and thus accom- 
plished the avowed "purpose" of His "manifesta- 
tion." And it was in this way that He justified the 
assertion of St. John, that " the Son of God is come, 
and hath given us an understanding, that we may 
know him that is true * * *. This is the true 
God and eternal life." The Son of God has indeed 



60 North Carolina Sermons. 

"come" and "given us an understanding" of, or 
an insight into, the character of" Him that is true," 
thus enabling us to see and " know " that he is true, 
contrary to Satan's teaching. And we find also, 
that this knowledge tends to lift our souls, in con- 
fidence and love, to " the true God and eternal life." 
Now, how did the Messiah impart to man this 
knowledge of the true God ? 

Passing over the revelation made in type, promise 
and prophecy, under former dispensations, we call 
attention to what He did after His manifestation in 
the flesh. 

1. Jesus showed God to man in His life and exam- 
ple. When Philip said to Him, "show us the Father," 
He replied : " He that hath seen Me hath seen the Fa- 
ther." And it was true ; for the holiness and good- 
ness of the Deity shone out most gloriously and con- 
spicuously in the words and works of this incarnate 
Jehovah. " The face "—life—" of Jesus Christ " was 
luminous with "the light of the knowledge of the 
glory of God"— the glory of His holiness and love- 
as that " face" reflected "the image of Him that is 
invisible." In a word, this God-man lived the di- 
vinity of His nature and character, and thus showed 
most plainly and strikingly that Satan is false and 
wicked, and that God is true and good. 

2. Jesus revealed God to man in the preaching of 
Himself and His apostles. The sum of that preach- 
ing, as to God's nature and character, is that "God 
is light" and "God is love"— That He is pure and 
true— free from the darkness of falsehood and in- 



The Mission of Christ. 61 

justice in His character. And that he is loving and 
lovable— free from selfishness and malevolence in 
His nature. The burden of His and their theme 
was that God is too holy to do wrong Himself, and 
too just— hates sin too much— to suffer wrong in oth- 
ers to go unpunished. Also, that, at the same time, 
He is too full of love and goodness not to do all in 
His power to promote man's happiness. 

3. Most specially did Jesus show God to man in 
His sufferings and death. In His crucifixion, we 
have the intensest display of the divine holiness and 
love that the Messiah could have made. In His 
suffering unto death, He more effectually contradicts 
Satan and vindicates the divine rectitude and good- 
ness than he had none in His life and ministry. In 
His agony and blood, He said to man : God so loves 
truth and hates sin that He dies rather than allow 
His word to fail or sin to go unpunished. In His 
groans and death, He said : God is so merciful and 
good— so forgets self and loves man, that He gives 
His own life rather than see the sinner die— 

"To shame our sins, He blushed in blood, 
He closed His eyes to show us God." 

As the Prophet of God and " the Light of the 
world," He had, during His life, dispelled the dark- 
ness that had gathered about the divine character. 
Now, in His death, as the Priest of God, He lifts or 
rends the vail which had hung as a pall over that 
character and over man's prospects. The rays of 
light which shone out so gloriously from this "Sun 



62 North Carolina Sermons. 

of Righteousness/' as He. rose above the Mount of 
Beatitudes and the Mount of Sorrow, converged to the 
same point, and then streamed out upon an astonish- 
ed and gladdened world through this one channel : 
" God so loved the world that He gave His only be- 
gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should 
not perish, but have everlasting life." 

Thus it was that the dark and poisonous atmos- 
phere of falsehood and distrust, with which Satan 
had shrouded God's character, was displaced by the 
bright, pure and warm atmosphere of truth, confi- 
dence and love, enabling man once more to live 
spiritually. At least, in this way were the external 
conditions of such life re-established. 

We remark in the second place, that Jesus gives 
us spiritual life through the atoning effect of His 
death, and through His life of intercession in 
Heaven. 

We have already seen that by the atoning effect 
of His sacrifice, He removed the legal and moral 
barriers out of the way of man's living in the flesh. 
Also, that by the moral effect of His teaching, in 
life and in death, He restored a healthy atmosphere 
to his spiritual nature. It was necessary for man 
that He go a step farther, and remove from his soul 
the spiritual death and moral weakness, induced by 
his sin and fall. 

Look at that poor collier. His life has been 
choked out of him by the poisonous damps of the 
mine. Because of the effect of this deadly atmos- 
phere, his blood has been poisoned and his heart 



The Mission of Christ. 63 

and lungs have ceased to act. He can never live 
and breathe again without the application of resto- 
ratives. An extraneous force must be brought to 
bear upon him. Resuscitation must come from with- 
out. Some friend must inflate his lungs and start 
his heart to beating again, even after he has been 
lifted to a pure and healthy atmosphere. 

This is precisely the case with man's spiritual na- 
ture and its necessities since the fall. Even after 
the healthy atmosphere of truth has been restored 
to him, his soul is still "dead in trespasses and sins." 
His spiritual lungs have to be inflated and his heart 
started to beating by some external force. His 
spiritual blood must be purified, and other effects of 
the fall must be removed by a power other and 
greater than his own. In a word, new life and new 
strength must be imparted to his soul by some liv- 
ing and powerful Friend. This Jesus does for him 
through the agency of the Holy Spirit, whose gift to 
man He secures by the atoning and propitiatory ef- 
fect of His sacrifice and by His intercession in 
Heaven. By virtue of His death, and in answer to 
His prayer, the Holy Spirit comes and sheds the 
light of life upon man's intellect, breathes the breath 
of life into his spiritual nostrils and lungs, and sheds 
the light of love abroad in his heart. Thus his 
spiritual blood is purified, his spiritual nature is re- 
newed and invigorated, and he is lilted to his feet 
again, and enabled to " walk in newness of life." 

After imparting this new life to the soul, Christ, 
through the agency of the Spirit, becomes its Sup- 



64 North Carolina Sermons. 

porter. The material sun not only awakens nature in- 
to a new life, but, by his light, heat and electric power, 
he develops and fosters, supports and strengthens that 
life. So, the "Sun of Righteousness" not only 
" quickens " man's dead soul into spiritual life, but 
He sustains, developes and strengthens that life. 
By the light of His truth, the warmth of His love, 
and the electric power of His grace, He enables the 
Christian to grow up into Christ, his " Head " in ail 
things. Through the agency of the Spirit and the 
instrumentality of His word, He becomes the "bread 
of life " and the "sincere milk" and "strong meat ; ' 
on which man's soul feeds and grows. Through 
Church ordinances and other means of grace, and 
by His direct influence on the soul, He "helps our 
infirmities" and "strengthens us with might by 
His Spirit in the inner man." Dwelling Himself "in 
our hearts by faith," He enables us to become "root- 
ed and grounded in love" — strengthened and estab- 
lished in the life of God. Thus His "strength is 
made perfect" to man in his greatest weakness and 
want. In the face of fiercest temptation, and in the 
hour of sorest trial, we may confidently and joyous- 
ly sing : 

"Strong in the strength which God supplies 
Through His eternal Son." 

A word as to what Jesus means by our having 
life " more abundantly." His words seem suscepti- 
ble of two different constructions, which, however, 
harmonize with each other. First. He may mean 



The Mission of Christ. 65 

that the volume of life which flows through the pure 
soul is broader and deeper, fuller and stronger, in 
consequence of His mediatorial work than it would 
havft been simply because of His creative work — ■ 
That the intenser display of God's character, made in 
redemption, develops a more vigorous and joyous 
life of love and gratitude than did the feebler display 
made in creation. Secondly. He may mean that 
the larger measure of knowledge and gracious in- 
fluence imparted to man under the present dispen- 
sation-— since His manifestation and death— lifts him 
to a higher plane of intelligence, love and joy, than 
the one on which he lived under former dispensa- 
tions — That, as vegetable life is more luxuriant, vig- 
orous and fruitful under a tropical sun than it is in 
colder regions, so spiritual life may and ought to be 
more vigorous and fruitful under the directer and 
more powerful rays of the "Sun of Righteousness," 
in the dispensation of the Spirit, than it was under 
those of the Father and the Son. 

Bear a word in conclusion, by way of application. 

1. If we owe our existence in this world, and the 
possibility and hope of attaining unto eternal life in 
the world to come, solely to the Lord Jesus, should 
we not gladly consecrate our lives to his service, and 
live wholly unto Him? St. Paul thought so. He 
says : " "We thus judge that if one died for all, then 
were all dead " — judicially and spiritually — " and 
that they which live should not henceforth live unto 
themselves, but unto Him which died for them and 
rose again." 



66 North Carolina Sermons. 

2. If, after Jesus has performed every work and 
brought to bear every influence that is adapted to 
develop our spiritual life, we are still "dead in tres- 
passes and sins," we are wholly without excuse. 
And, in the day of final accounts, we will be utterly 
and hopelessly " speechless." 

3. Do not we, living in the dispensation of full 
gospel light and grace, show great lack of gratitude 
for the work of Jesus, when we move on the low 
plane of religious doubt and fear, and are controlled 
more by the spirit of compromise than we are by the 
Spirit of consecration ? Whatever may be our views 
touching the doctrine of entire salification or 
Christian perfection, we certainly ought to breathe 
a purer atmosphere and live a " higher life " of reli- 
gious enjoyment and usefulness than did those 
whose lots were cast in a darker and less spiritual 
dispensation. "Jesus being now glorified," and 
" the Holy Ghost," in the richness and fullness of 
His influences, " being now given," " rivers of living 
water" should, for the refreshment of himself and 
others, " flow " out from the soul of the consecrated 
believer. 

God help both writer and reader to realize how 
priceless a boon is life !— help them to prize more 
highly the unspeakable privilege of living spiritu- 
ally and eternally !— help them, above all else, to so 
appreciate the work which Jesus has done for them, 
as constantly and perseveringly to live for Him a 
life of love, purity and joy—a life of consecration, 
activity and zeal! 



The Only Foundation. 67 



THE ONLY FOUNDATION. , 

By Solomon Pool, D. D., 
Of the North Carolina Local Ministers' Conference. 



For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is 
Jesus Christ.— I Cor. iii : 11. 

Many persons are satisfied with a very carelessly 
constructed system of theology. The} 7 bestow less 
thought upon eternal than upon temporal concerns. 
They are careful to inform themselves well in secu- 
lar matters, but in respect to religion they hastily 
assume some principle and then hurry away. And 
yet there are probably very few who do not form 
some actual and positive opinion upon religious 
matters, however carelessly obtained. Upon this 
are based their expectations of a better future. Upon 
this, as a foundation, whether false or true, fanciful 
or real, hope rears her superstructure. All have 
hope, and to something all trust ; the pagan to his 
idol-gods, the Mohammedan to his Koran, the Hin- 
doo to his Shastra, the Infidel to his Skepticism, the 
Pharisee to his Self-righteousness, the Christian to 
his Saviour. 

The text is an expression which pertains to archi- 
tecture, and sets forth the only true foundation on 
which hope can build. All other. foundations are 
vain and unreal, for " other foundation can no man 
lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 



68 North Carolina Sermons. 

Without the effort at anything new or original, I 
propose in this discussion, first to consider a few of 
the fake foundations which underlie the hopes of cer- 
tain classes to be met in an average American con- 
gregation ; and secondly, to notice the only true 
foundation. 

1. False Foundations. 

Of course I shall not notice the vain hope of those 
who trust to idols, for we have no pagans in our 
midst. Nor shall I refer to the Mohammedan faith, 
for there are no followers of the false prophet among 
us. I also pass unnoticed the bold and daring atheist 
who denies the existence of his Creator, and b'rain- 
lessly affirms that all things come by chance! As 
far back as the days of David none but the "fool" 
dared say such a thing, and he only in his heart. 
A specimen of the living atheist cannot be found in 
an average American congregation. He must be 
dug out as a fossil imbedded in the moral strata of 
a distant epoch, or be sought among the rubbish 
and debris of buried centuries. Nor shall I notice 
that rank form of infidelity which denies the au- 
thenticity of divine revelation, blasphemously en- 
thrones Reason as the god of the universe, and bases 
its hopes of a better state upon human systems 
alone. Passing by all these, I propose to consider 
the false foundations upon which three several 
classes in our own midst base their hopes of eternal 
happiness. 

The first of these base their hopes of salvation on 



The Only Foundation. 69 

the general mercy of God, without reference to the 
atonement of Christ. They faintly hope that perhaps 
all this talk aboutfuture, eternal punishmentis a mis- 
take; thatperhaps all these appealsfrom thepulpitare 
only part of the preacher's business; that he presents 
his cause just as do other professional men, and after 
all perhaps the whole exercise is merely perfunctory, 
and does not actually demand their serious atten- 
tion. That the infinite goodness of God will cer- 
tainly rescue them, and that they cannot really be 
sent to such a place of torment as the Bible speaks 
of. It is upon some such vague conception as this> 
that many base their hopes and seem satisfied. With 
such an uncertainty before them in temporal matter 
they would not for a moment think of embarking in 
an enterprise of trade, and yet they risk upon it their 
eternal interest. The frail skiff in which they would 
not venture out upon the serene bosom of an inland 
bay in time, they carelessly board and launch forth 
upon the great ocean of eternity. 

The error of this class is manifest first from the 
fact that their view is not in unison with revealed 
truth. This mercy to which they trust is not that 
which has been offered to man. It is true that God 
has promised his mercy, but only on specified condi- 
tions; those conditions must be complied with, or 
we cannot justly claim the promise. Suppose you 
are suffering with some dreadful malady ; a benev- 
olent man offers to relieve you ; he certainly may 
reserve the right of doing it in his own way. It 
matters not whether it be by a potion which yoa are 



70 North Carolina Sermons. 

to imbibe, or by a touch of his hand, or by the use 
of his lancet, or by bidding you employ the service 
of a third person to whose care you are to entrust 
yourself. You might perhaps have preferred a dif- 
ferent method, but you will certainly admit that he 
has the right of befriending you in his own way. 
and especially if that be the only efficient wa3 T . You 
might have liked it better perhaps if he had simply 
by a magic touch, or by a motion of his hand, bidden 
den the awful disease begone, but say have you there- 
fore any just ground of complaint ? In his benevo- 
lence and his wisdom he has prescribed the best, and 
perhaps the only means for your restoration. If you 
refuse that, you die. And so it is with reference to 
spiritual things. Man is diseased. A moral malady 
threatens him with eternal death. The poison of 
sin is in his veins. God has revealed the plan 
whereby he may be saved. He bids him look to the 
Saviour and live. He offers salvation and eternal 
life, but it is only through his Son. He declares ! 
that the believer in Jesus shall be saved — that the 
unbeliever shall be damned. That there is no other 
way given among men whereby we can be saved, 
but by simple faith in Christ. That as the leprous 
Syrian captain could only hope to be healed by 
seven ablutions in the waters of Jordan, so the lep- 
rosy of sin can only be washed away by atoning 
blood. It might have accorded better with your 
feelings if God had allowed you to dictate the terms 
of your pardon. It might have been less humilia- 
ting to your pride to go directly to Him for mercy, 



The Only Foundation. 71 

ther than to the. Babe of Bethlehem, the Man of 
Sorrows ; but the revealed plan is different, and in 
rejecting that you scorn his bounty and insult his 

^on. 

Then too, this presumptuous confidence in God's 
mercy does violence to his character. It makes him 
merciful, but destroys his justice. It belies the writ- 
ten word, and dismantles Deity of part of his glory- 
Look at some of the declarations of Holy Writ. Re- 
rring to the enemies of Christ, it is written, "Their 
end is destruction " (Philip, iii : 19) ; " when they 
shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction 
cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman 
with child ; and they shall not escape " (I Thess. v : 
2, 3) ; "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven 
with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking ven- 
geance on them that know not God, and obey not 
the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be 
punished with everlasting destruction from the pres- 
ence of the Lord" (II Thess. i : 7-9) ; " Fiery indig- 
nation shall devour. the adversaries; * * ven- 
geancebelongeth unto me, I will recompense, saiththe 
Lord" (Heb. x: 27-30) ; " Our God is a consuming 
fire" (Heb. xii: 29). These and untold similar dec- 
larations of sacred truth, are made false by him 
who claims salvation through the mercy of God, 
outside of Christ. 

Do you complain that a single sin cannot justly 
deserve eternal punishment ? How can you decide 
a question, of whose merits you may be utterly igno- 
rant? And there is no one v\ho can say he has 






72 North Carolina Sermons, 

committed but one sin. The most moral and u 
right will not, nor will they deny the corruption 
their natural appetites and affections. And theli 
after having sinned every day, can they justly di( 
tate the terms on which they will agree to be pa< 
doned ? And then, in order to accommodate therji 
selves, they propose to substitute for the gospel pis) 
of salvation, one of their own invention, which b 
lies the written word, eliminates some of the su 
limest of the Divine attributes, and annuls the who 
work of redemption. 

But this is not all. This vain confidence in tl: 
Divine goodness must be destructive of all morali 4 
and uprightness. The good and bad are place! 
upon the same footing. There is no incentive t 
holiness and no restraint upon vice. If the Divin 
mercy will rescue all, then the floodgates of sin an 
thrown wide open, and the world is deluged witi 
nncleanness. He who builds upon such a founds: 
tion, builds upon sand. Hope may rear upon it he 
beautiful superstructure, but, however attractive an! 
charming, the whirlwind of God's wrath will sweei 
it away. 

There is a second class who make a moral life th 
foundation of their hopes. The principle they as 
sume is, that general propriety of deportmen 
merits the salvation of the soul. They claim salva 1 
tion on the ground of good works instead of faith ii 
Christ. There was a man of business whose honest; 
was proverbial in the community where he ilved 
but he made no profession of faith in Christ. H< 



The Only Foundation. 73 

is approached by a friend who kindly enquired 
ncerning his hopes for eternity. " They are en- 
rely satisfactory to me, sir," he replied. " Do you 
jlieve in God, and do you accept the Bible as his re- 
eled will?" "Certainly! do, sir" he said. "Do you 
:cept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, and look 
r salvation through the atonement he has made ?" 
By no means/' he replied. " Have you repented 
• your sins?" "Not at all, sir," he said. " Do you 
3 lieve that all men will be saved ?" "I do not sir." 
'o you believe that some will be lost ?" " I certainly 
b." "Then, sir," said the friend, " will you be good 
Lough to tell me on what your hopes of heaven are 
ased V "Upon this," he replied ; " I have all my 
ife made it a point to be perfectly fair and honest 
i all my dealings with my fellow-men; I have 
ever wronged, nor cheated, nor defrauded a human 
ieing; no one living or dead can say I have ever 
one them an intentional wrong; I have been gen- 
rous and liberal to the full extent of my ability, 
,nd am satisfied that in all respects my life has been 
nore moral and exemplary than that of many of 
ny professed christian neighbors. I do not believe, 
ir, that God will east me into hell." Now here was 
i most illustrious example of what may be termed 
:ommercial integrity, and it existed without piety. 
rhe religious element was entirely lacking, and yet 
he man was self-complacent and tranquil upon the 
subject of his soul's salvation. He had no love to 
3od in his heart, and was therefore unfit for heaven. 
He refused salvation through Christ, was trusting to 



74 North Carolina Sermons. 

his own fancied merit, and expecting to steal into 
heaven as a thief or a robber. 

There may be morality without piety ; from such 
I withhold not the proper admiration, but it cannot 
qualify you for heaven. All good works which do 
not spring from faith in Christ and love to God are 
no more than so many splendid sins. But while 
there may be morality without piety, yet there can 
be no genuine piety without morality. The infidel 
Hume never uttered a more palpable fallacy than 
when he affirmed that natural honesty of temper is- 
a better security for a correct course of conduct than 
religious principle. The man whose sinful nature 
has not been renewed, is like him who carries gun- 
powder in his pocket; it is liable at any moment to 
ignite and blow him into ruin. Sin is gunpowder,, 
temptation the spark. Piety is the only sure safe- 
guard of virtue. The superstructure which hope 
rears upon a moral life may be pleasing to the eye 
and win the admiration of the world, but the foun- 
dation is insecure, and it cannot stand the test of the 
final day ; for " other foundation can no man lay 
than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 

The third class whom I notice base their religious- 
hopes on sensibility. The former class based theirs 
upon conduct, these upon emotion. Those upon 
what they do, these upon what they feel. They love 
to meet with the people of God in public worship; 
their hearts glow, and their spirits are stirred within 
them, as they engage in the outward formal services, 
oi the sanctuary, or listen to the pointed appeals of 



The Only Foundation. 75 

the preacher ; and yet all the while they may have 
no evangelistic faith, or engrossing affection for the 
Saviour. As respects vital godliness they may be as 
soundly asleep as if hushed into the insensibility of 
death. These feelings, it is true may be, and often 
are, concomitants of piety, and so is morality. They 
may be part of the superstructure, but not its foun- 
dation. The grand fabric of christian character 
rests upon a firmer foundation than mere sensi- 
bility. 

You may take the atheist, or infidel, or Moham- 
medan, or pagan who has never heard of God or 
Christ or heaven or hell, and his spirits will be 
aroused under strains of melody, or in view of scenes 
of beauty and sublimity. Let him stroll in the 
golden blush of a serene May morning amid the 
meadows and lawns besprinkled with blue and pink 
and crimson and saffron ; let him ascend the moun- 
tain side and behold the vast lineaments of creation, 
the distant glimpses of cottage and field, of waving 
forest and winding stream, of rushing mountain tor- 
rent and overhanging glacier; would it bean evi- 
dence of piety if his feelings were enkindled at such 
a perspective as that? Then let his eyes be raised 
to behold the shining canopy with its millions of 
blazing suns and silver moons and gleaming stars," 
let him fully realize that these are not dreary, un- 
peopled solitudes, but that they all are magnificently 
garnished houses of sentient, intelligent beings like 
himself, and he would need no piety to elevate his 
spirits in the midst of such a sublime contemplation. 



76 North Carolina Sermons. 

And so a man may be stirred by the recital of some 
deed of injustice or of benevolence ; he may be 
aroused by force of a logical argument; he may be 
moved to tears by a remembrance of his own un- 
grateful acts, and yet conscience may slumber on, 
repentance may not be exercised, and faith may as 
} 7 et have found no lodgment in his soul. So the 
feelings may be stirred b} 7 the sacred services of the 
sanctuary, when heaven with its glories is painted 
in words that breathe and thoughts that burn, and 
yet the love of God may never have taken possession 
of the heart. All religious emotion, outsideof Christ, 
is sheer sentimentalism, and no sure basis of reli-? 
gious hope. 

Then build upon the Rock of Ages. 

Thus saith the Lord : "Behold I lay in Zion for a 
foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner- 
stone, a sure foundation." This stone, rejected and 
set at naught of builders, has "become the head- 
stone of the corner." It is the foundation of "Apos- 
tles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the 
chief corner stone." It is so strong and firm and 
broad that all men may build securely upon it. The 
storms cannot shake it, the floods cannot unsettle it, 
the tooth of time cannot crumble it. This, and this 
alone, is the only true foundation of religious hope — 
simple faith in Jesus Christ, a renunciation of every 
other refuge and a confident reliance upon him alone 
for salvation. 

It is related that when Johnson, the prince of 



The Only Foundation. 77 

English writers, was about to die, he became deeply 
concerned for his future. At a distance there lived 
a pious old man in whom he had great confidence, 
A messenger was dispatched to the old christian 
with the request that he would come quickly and 
instruct the dying man in the plan of salvation, 
The message was delivered, but the old christian 
simply took pencil and paper and wrote, " Behold the 
Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." 
He enclosed and sealed it, and sent it to the dying 
man. The accomplished scholar seized the paper, 
broke the seal and read ; but, disappointed and im- 
patient, threw it aside, and bade the messenger hasten 
back and again entreat the old christian to come to 
his bedside and teach him the way of life. Again 
the message was delivered, and again the old chris- 
tian replied ({ Behold the Lamb of God that taketh 
away the sin of the world." The dying man read it 
once more. The truth, like sunlight, flashed upon 
him. He looked, he saw, he trusted, and was saved, 
I would tell you then 

"That same old stoiy, 

Of unseen things above, 
Of Ji'sus and his glory, 

Of Jesus and his love. 
I love to tell the story, 

More wonderful it seems 
Than all the golden fancies 

Of all our jewelled dreams. 
I love to tell the stoiy, 

'Twill be my theme in glory, — 
To i ell the old, old story 

Of Jesus and his love.'' 



78 North Carolina Sermons. 

A mother once took her idle boy who would not 
learn and shut him in a room alone. In his hand 
she placed the open book and bade him study. An 
hour, and she returned. The boy had thrown his 
book aside and was playing with the toys that lay 
scattered upon the floor, or gazing at the paintings 
which hung upon the walls of the room. She re- 
moved from the room every toy, and every object 
which she thought could attract his attention. An 
hour, and she returned again. He was amusing 
himself with the pictures of birds and flowers upon 
the pages of his book. So she tore out the single 
leaf which contained his lesson, and placing simply 
that in his hand bade him keep his eye upon it. So 
taking from your view every intervening object, 
every earthly attraction, every worldly toy and pic- 
ture, and every fond, vain hope, I would point you 
simply to "the Lamb of God thattaketh away the sin 
of the world." 

I see two men go forth to build. One is wise, the 
other foolish. Each rears a noble structure and 
adorns it with all the charms and embellishments 
of taste and art. In the outward form and appear- 
ance of the two edifices I detect scarcely a shade of 
difference. Each man, with self-complacency and 
satisfaction, enters and for a time resides. But by 
and by the heavens grow black with threatening 
storm-clouds. The rain descends, the tempest beats, 
the weird winds whistle, the floods rush on, and all 
is hidden from my eye t in the gathered gloom. At 
length the morning sunlight breaks upon the scene, 



On Heaven. 7& 

and I look again. One building lies a heap of ruins > 
it was built upon the sand. The other still lifts its- 
towering height in bold defiance of the storm. It 
has baffled the tempest and the flood, for it was 
founded upon a rock. Hark ! from the dismantled 
relics of the one, and from the abiding glory of the 
other, there rings out the lesson of the text : "Other 
foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which 
is Jesus Christ." 



ON HEAVEN. 

By Rev. T. W. Guthrie, 
Of the North Carolina Conference. 



And the end everlasting life — Romans vi : 22. 

In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would 
not have told you I go to prepare a place for you. And i f I go and pre" 
pare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; 
that where I am, thereye may be also.— St. John xiv : 2, 3. 

These texts bring to our attention a consummation 
of blessedness of which we, in the present life, can 
form no complete apprehension. We know nothing 
of the future world, beyond that which God has 
been pleased to reveal. None of us have ever been 
to heaven, and therefore by experience we know 
nothing of the glory of the place, and the habits of 
its inhabitants. We have seen no one who has been 
there, and therefore can gain no knowledge from the 



80 North Carolina Sermons. 

experience of others. Only one of our race ever was 
there and returned, and he did not know whether 
he went there in the body or out of it. He says he 
was " caught up into the third heaven," beyond the 
region of the stars — the place of angelic habitation* 
where God displays his undimmed glory. But we 
are none the wiser on account of what he saw and 
heard. He says it was " unlawful" or improper for 
him to publish what he saw. I suppose human lan- 
guage to be too poor for such a purpose. The things 
and scenes of heaven could be adequately described 
only by a language, grander and nobler than any 
known to this world. Had the apostle attempted to 
describe what he saw and heard, his statement would 
probably have been the basis of hopeless error or in- 
curable skepticism. In the wisdom of God he was 
restrained from giving us the information for which 
curiosity would ask. The remarks we propose to 
make on this interesting subject we will draw from 
the teachings of the Bible, either by positive state- 
ment or by inference. 

Heaven is a place — a local habitation. For proof 
of this we refer to the Bible. Jesus says: "I go to 
prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a 
place for you, I will come again and receive you 
unto myself; that where I am ye may be also." The 
apostle says : " We know that if this earthly house 
of our tabernacle were dissolved, we have a build- 
ing of God, an house not made with hands eternal 
in the heavens." And, "so shall we be ever present 
with the Lord." 



On Heaven. 81 

The human body of our Lord Jesus Christ was 
taken up into heaven, and he, in that body, sitteth 
on the right hand of the Father to make "interces- 
sion for us. Now, it is not supposable that His hu- 
man body, though glorified, is so changed as to be 
omnipresent, but must occupy only one place at the 
same time, and therefore must have a local habita- 
tion. We are informed that both Enoch and Elijah 
were translated, soul and body, and doubtless were 
carried into the heavenly state, having the same 
change wrought in them at the time of their trans- 
lation that will be wrought in all the good people 
who finally get to the heavenly home. And as their 
bodies are incapable of diffusing themselves so as to 
occupy all space at the same time, so there must be 
a place at which they dwell and which becomes 
their home. 

We do not desire to be understood as teaching 
that those who reach the heavenly world are to be 
always confined to one place out of which they are 
never to go. So far from this, we may reasonably 
infer that the vast and boundless universe of God 
will be open to their entrance, and probably there 
will be no world so distant that they cannot reach 
and inspect it. Angels may possibly be their guides 
in roaming through the sunlit paths of God's Uni- 
verse, and in the cycles of ages all the worlds now 
known to astronomers may be visited in person by 
the redeemed of the Lord, and converse may be had 
with their countless tribes of inhabitants ; and jour- 
neys may be made to other worlds in the far distant 



82 North Carolina Sermons. 

space of God's boundless domain, the existence of 
which has not entered in to the dreams of astron- 
omy. 

Heaven is also a state of conscious being. The 
souls of the good when they leave their bodies at 
death, do not go into a sleep of unconsciousness un- 
til awakened by the judgment trump,; but enter at 
once into a conscious and happy state of being. 
They know themselves to be the same beings, who 
have passed through the toils and trials of the pres- 
ent life, and triumphantly made their w T ay to their 
present home. The changes which have taken 
place in them, whatever they may be, do not destroy 
their identity or interfere with the functions of mem- 
ory or consciousness. They not only know them- 
selves but they also know others around them. Faces 
with which they were familiar here, having pre- 
served their general custom and features, are known 
there, and happy greetings and reunions are ex- 
changed between mutual friends who meet on that 
distant shore, as together they sit down under the 
shade of the trees, or walk along the banks of the 
crystal stream. 

At times the question arises in every mind, where 
is heaven ? Where is the special future home of the 
good ? The exact place God has not been pleased 
to reveal. But one thing we are sure of, it is some- 
where in the material universe of God as now created. 
Astronomers tell us, by the use of telescopes, they 
have discovered that there are five thousand suns, 
including our own, which are the centers of solar 



On Heaven. 83 

systems as our sun is the center of our solar system ; 
and that the sesuns with their planets, moons, satel- 
lites, and all which contribute to their completeness, 
are moving around a common center in regular el- 
lipses. What that center is we cannot exactly tell ; 
it has been suggested that probably it is God's throne 
or the world spoken of in the Bible as heaven. This 
may be true or not; we have no means of knowing. 
But our philosophy unquestionably teaches that 
there must be, somewhere in the universe, some 
great world out of which, in consequence of its size 
and position, goes influences of sufficient force to 
preserve the equilibrium in nature. If the teach- 
ings of philosophy on this matter be true, then this 
world is the seat of that city of walls, gates and tem- 
ples which the apostle John saw. Whether the con- 
ceptions of astronomy as stated before be true or not, 
it is about the grandest thought that ever found a 
w r ay into the human mind. 

In the Bible we are taught that heaven is a state 
of conscious perpetual union with our Lord Jesus 
Christ. The happiness of the Christian in this life 
is derived from the fact of his spiritual union by 
faith with the Lord Jesus Christ. But here the 
christian's happiness is often alloyed by causes which 
have their existence from within as from without 
him. In the very nature of things, it is not and 
cannot be perfect. But in the heavenly state none 
of these causes exist, therefore the happiness is com- 
plete because the union is complete. The beauty 
and magnificence of the place does not necessarily 



84 North Carolina Sermons. 

constitute the happiness of its inhabitants. The 
cause is in the fact of their fitness in nature to be 
there. Without this fitness the grandeur of the 
place would be but the mockery of their misery. 
Reason teaches that there must be a similarity and 
agreement between the faculty of enjoyment and 
the object to be enjoyed; therefore without the spir- 
itual nature which unites the christian to Jesus 
Christ and makes him one with time, he could not 
be happy, even in heaven, but with it he would not 
be miserable anywhere. 

Heaven is a state of the highest possible enjoy- 
ment. The enjoyment is not animal or sensual, but- 
intellectual and spiritual. Jesus on one occasion, 
speaking of the future life, said to the Jews, that in 
"the resurrection they neither marry nor are given 
in marriage, but are as the angels which are in 
heaven." 

From this statement we understand that the rela- 
tions which the saints sustained to each other on 
earth do not exist in the heavenly state. They re- 
member that they were husbands and wives, parents 
and children, and brothers and sisters, in the world 
out of which they have come, and all the pleasures 
which such memories afford are theirs in their full- 
ness, but now the} r are saints and priests unto God 
and the Lamb forever. They are brought into di- 
rect contact and intercourse with all that is pure 
and good in God's universe. They being holy, and 
all around them possessing a like nature, is' the 
ground of their enjoyment. There is nothing any- 



On Heaven. 85 

where to mar the beauty or jar upon the symphony 
of their natures. They once had pain, sorrow and 
tears, but now all this is passed never to return. 
Many of them were of obscure parentage and lowly 
in condition, and all were once suffering children of 
humanity. Now they are no longer servants and 
laborers, but sons and daughters of God, and as such 
they are of his household, and entitled to all the 
privileges and emoluments of the family. Upon 
their head once was placed the thorny crown of sor- 
row, and their brow was wrinkled with pain, and 
their hearts were pressed with the burdens they were 
compelled to carry ; now upon their heads is placed 
the crown of a king, and upon their brows is the 
bloom of youth and beauty, and in their hearts is 
the song of joy. " No chilling wind or poisonous 
breath" ever reaches them now. The pains of death 
are passed forever. Jesus wipes the last tear from 
their eyes, and bears away the last sigh from their 
hearts. 

^ Theintellectual enjoyments of heaven will be of the 
most pure and elevating kind. The mind will be free 
of the weights and clogs which swing around it in this 
life, and will rise up to the joyful contemplation of 
God in his nature, his ways, and his righteous govern- 
ment. The plan of God in the redemption of the 
human race will be unfolded to the enraptured 
mind. The parts of that plan which are now so 
mysterious and hard to be understood will 'be made 
clear in the light of the heavenly state. The ways 
of God as developed in Providence, now so difficult 



86 North Carolina Sermons. 

of comprehension, will be fully explained. The 
mind will be able to see the unity and harmony of 
all things which now seem to be so contradictory 
and inconsistent. Every step which the mind-takes 
in its investigations, will bring to it new and mul- 
tiplied joys, and at the same time expand and de- 
velop its powers far beyond what we in this life are 
able to conceive. Besides all this, the society of 
which each saint will constitute a part, will be of 
the most pure and genial character. No jarring el- 
ements will be there to mar its harmony, or disturb 
its peace. No envying, no jealousies, no strifes and 
no note of discord, will be felt, seen or heard, in all 
that glory land. Prophets, patriarchs, apostles, 
priests, kings and saints, of every age, of every sex, 
and from every clime, will mingle together in terms 
of the most intimate love and friendship. Over all 
this countless, but happy multitude Jesus will reign 
as the king immortal and eternal. His government 
will be most benignant and every one of the gov- 
erned will be more and more enraptured on the re- 
flection that this grand and glorious Being, who 
now wears the diadem of universal empire, is the 
common brother of each. Angels, archangels, cher- 
ubim, seraphim, and all the ranks of God's hosts 
who kept their first estate, will be the bosom com- 
panions of these children of humanit}- who are now 
saved by divine grace. Their surroundings will be 
on the grandest and most magnificent scale. Man- 
sions and palaces built of the most costty material, 
and furnished in the most gorgeous splendor, will 



On Heaven. 87 

be the places of their immediate habitation. Crowns 
more brilliant than ten thousand suns, will be placed 
■upon the head of each. Robes whiter and more 
'costly than any worn b} r the most fortunate or noble 
of earth, will adorn each one of the saints. Jewelled 
palms of victory will be placed in each hand. And 
thrones decked with jewels more costly and brilliant 
than diamonds or rubies will be presented to these, 
now made kings and priests unto God and the Lamb 
forever. Each heart will be attuned to the sympho- 
nies of the loving song of redemption. And the 
voice of praise as it comes up from the myriads that 
surround the throne of God, will swell and roll out 
over the plains of that glorious land as the sound of 
many waters, and the burstings of mighty thunders. 
Oh happy people ! Oh glorious inheritance ! 
•f' Heaven is a place of the most delightful employ- 
ment. The most common and almost universal idea 
of heaven is that it is a place of rest. Go ask some 
suffering, toiling child of humanity, what is his 
thought of heaven, and he will tell you rest, rest. 
And this view presents it before his mind as furnish- 
ing the most attractions, and as containing the 
•strongest inducements and motives for striving to 
get there. It is very pleasant to the many toilers of 
earth, to feel that there is a place where the weary 
may find rest, and where the wicked no more trouble. 
Still that is not the whole of the story. There is a 
more elevated and splendid fortune awaiting those 
who gain that good world. Its inhabitants are not to sit 
down in absolute idleness. No ; God has nrovided 



38 North Carolina Sermons. 

something better than that. They are to be actively 
employed and yet their labors will not fatigue them. 
They have dropped the cumbrous clay which attach- 
ed to them in this life, and they are now spiritual 
beings, and consequently incapable of fatigue. They 
do not tire in their round of labor and toil. One of 
their employments will be to sing. This they learn 
as by intuition. They all sing the song of Moses 
and the Lamb which we suppose is the song of re- 
demption. The whole company is formed into a 
grand choir, and all along the ranks no note of dis- 
cord is struck. Each knows the chorus and they all 
sing in the utmost harmony and with the spirit and 
the understanding. St. John says he saw the mul- 
titude and heard the singing. It was a burst of 
praise that rolled over the jewelled walls of the city 
and fell upon his ear as he stood on the distant Isle 
of Patmos. But singing is not all. Their minds 
are quickened. Enquiry is on the wing. They 
look over the vast fields of creation, and the old 
longing of which they had the earnest in this life 
stirs their souls,, World after world rises to their 
view, and the desire to visit them becomes intense. 
And when the permission is given, they leave the 
golden streets, the splendid mansions, thrones and 
palaces for a season. With their harps of gold in 
their hands, and the song of praise on their tongues, 
they scale the jewelled walls or pass out through the 
pearly gates, they take their march through the track- 
les ether. Flying upon wings as angels, or sweeping 
along in chariots of flaming fire, they reach some 



On Heaven. 89 

■distant world and folding their wings for a time 
upon the crest of some tall mountain, they look 
down upon its toiling millions, as they are moving 
to their daily labors, or along the banks of its silvery 
streams, or the shores of its glittering lakes and 
oceans. Its animate life, its salubrious atmosphere, 
and its loamy soil, together with its mineral wealth 
becomes to them a source of rapturous and delight- 
ful study. And mounting in the train of some pass- 
ing comet as its swiftly glides on its way near by, 
they move with the veloeity of light. Passing suns 
and stars and systems of worlds, they sweep out into 
the immensity of space far beyond the orbit of the 
most distant world, — far out into the immensity of 
darkness, into which as yet the light of no world 
has penetrated, and the voice of no sound has broke 
upon the silence which has reigned from all etprnity. 
And lost in wonder as astonishment they await the 
active and coming power of God. Soon the light of 
a new world just pushed from the creative hand of 
its Maker, breaks upon their enraptured vision, and 
as the sons of Ood, they raise anew the song of praise. 
And so million on millions of ages multiplied, the 
praise of God shall their rapturous tongues employ. 
Shall I be in that number ? Reader will you ? 
The Lord grant we may. 



90 North Carolina Sermons. 



THE UNREASONABLENESS AND SINFUL- 
NESS OF MAN'S ATTITUDE 
TOWARDS GOD. 

By Rev. John S.. "W atkins, 
Pastor First Presbyterian Church,, Raleigh, N. C. 



Then began he to speak to the people this parable: A certain man- 
planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a 
far country for a long time* And at the season he sent a servant to> 
the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vine r 
yard : but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And 
again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated; 
him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: 
and they wounded him also, and cast him out, Then said the lord of 
the vineyard, What shall I do ? I will send my beloved son : it may 
be they will reverence him when they see him. But when the hus- 
bandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is- 
the heir r come,, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So 
they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore 
shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them ?. He shall come and de- 
stroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others.— Luke 
xx : 9-1 li. 

We will not have this man to reign over us.— Luke xix : 14. 

Our Saviour in the parable of the wicked hus- 
bandmen has thrown upon the canvass a picture, 
which represents God's infinite love and mercy seek- 
ing to restore fallen, guilty man, and in contrast, 
man's cruel and wicked treatment of God. The 
" householder " is the great God who is repre- 
sented as mercifully employing ail possible means- 
for the cultivation of his vineyard. The passage 
has more immediate reference to the Jews. God sep- 
arated his ancient people from other nations,, and 



Man's Sinful Attitude. 91 

bestowed upon them countless privileges. He gave 
them special revelations — the law, the covenants, 
and sent them prophets and teachers. Notwith- 
standing God's mercies to Israel, they hardened their 
hearts against Him — they despised His ordinances, 
and refused to listen to His prophets — and reached 
the climax of wickedness in slaying His Son, and 
thrusting Him out of His own vineyard. Christ is 
still receiving much the same treatment — and men 
are outraging the efforts of mercy to save them. In 
the parable of the pounds, Christ is represented as 
going to His own kingdom and distributing gifts 
which are to be used. But his citizens hated him, 
saying, " We will not have this man to reign over 
us." 

The subject which these passages open up to us is 
this: The unreasonableness and sinfulness of 
man's attitude towards God. 

I. This unreasonableness and sinfulness appear, 
in the first place, in the quiet and nonchalant way 
in which man entirely ignores the rights of God. 
He ignores God's rights as creator. He often for- 
gets that the vineyard in which he lives, whose fruits 
he enjoys, is God's vineyard. He lives and acts as 
though it were his own creation and his own poses- 
sion — when a moment's reflection must tell him that 
he is only a tenant. The firmament over us with its 
arch of beauty, the heavenly bodies that roll and 
sparkle above us, and the earth beneath our feet 
overspread with every object of attraction are God's 
empire. Every creature holds his being, his life 



92 North Carolina Sermons. 

from Him. The air we breathe, the force that ani- 
mates our frames, the light that shines, are all ema- 
nations from the Creator's goodness. God's creation 
of us gives Him an absolute right in us. The fact 
of creation makes us His by an invulnerable title. 
There is no creature God has made that is not in- 
debted to Him, every moment, for everything. Has 
not God a right to His own ? That which we make 
out of materials furnished to our hands, we claim 
as our own. And we do not recognize God's rights 
in that which comes directly from His hands. We 
attempt to expel the great householder, and call the 
inheritance ours. 

We ignore God's rights as Father. The earthly 
parent who is kind and just and faithful, feels that 
he has a right to claim the obedience, love and re- 
spect of his children. From existing relations, he 
is their constituted protector, guide and support. 
While we claim and exercise this right we do not 
recognize God's right to claim our obedience, love 
and respect. 

Man ignores God's personal rights. God has a right 
to protect and uphold His honor and glory — rights 
which men entirely ignore. We recognize our right 
to protect our own honor and good name. When 
men slander and curse us, or rob us of our posses- 
sions, we demand immediate redress. And we have 
no opinion of the man who has no regard for his 
honor — who docs not feel indignant at slander and 
abuse. And yet men can curse God, and abuse God's 
property, yea seize it as their own, and cling to it 



Man's Attitude. 93 

until it is wrested from them by death— and think 
it all right and proper in the Almighty to take no 
notice of it. We expect God to exercise infinite for- 
bearance where we would have no patience whatever. 
Man will challenge his fellow-man and fight a duel 
over some little point of honor. He will try to take 
away the life of his fellow-man for casting a stain on 
his character. And that same person will expect Al- 
mighty God to remain still and patient while he curses 

Him, and insults Him through a whole lifetime. 

Man ignores God's rights as Magistrate. God 
as supreme magistrate and law-giver has a right to 
protect the interest and dignity of His government- 
rights which we entirely ignore. Earthly governors, 
who are constituted executors and sacred guardians 
of the law, feel bound to protect the interests of the 
government, and the majesty of the law which is foun- 
ded in right and truth. And their people demand this 
protection. When a murder is committed, the gov- 
ernment is regarded as criminal in failing to visit the 
offence with condign punishment. Leaving out the 
idea of the protection of society in the right of life 
and property, there is a sentiment in every man's 
heart which says— the offender must be punished— 
it is right. And if the murderer be untouched, 
the universal cry is, "the gallows has been cheated." 
W 7 hen one person breaks into the house of another 
and robs him even of a small amount, the injured 
party will pay ten times the amount to arrest the 
offender. He will have him hauled before a court 
of justice and see that he is sent to the penitentiary. 



94 North Carolina Sermons. 

He completely damns the man, as far as he can- 
damns him utterly for this world. The feelings of 
humanity are not offended at this treatment, and all 
the people say— amen. Yet when the infinite God, 
the supreme law-giver, who is bound to protect His 
throne, bound by His very nature to uphold the 
majesty of that law which grows out of His own 
holy being, bound to protect the interests of His 
government— when this Almighty Being enforces 
the penalty of His law, we are ready to cry, " injus- 
tice, cruelty!" If a man commits a crime against 
society, if he remain impenitent, he is considered 
guilty to the last day of his life. Society punishes 
all impenitent offenders against its laws, more or 
less directly, throughout their whole lifetime. They 
take in just as much of eternity as their influence 
can compass— yea, they go beyond death, and plant 
a stigma upon the name which is never mentioned 
without a frown for generations after the offender is 
gone. Society does this continually for one offence. 
And when God's government, which extends over 
eternity, leaves the offender, after a thousand offences, 
to reap the eternal consequences of his wrong-doing, 
it is considered monstrous. 

Man ignores God's rights as Allwise. God has 
rights which grow out of His infinite knowledge and 
wisdom— rights which we often totally ignore — 
rights we ourselves claim. We require of our little 
children who are so inferior to us in knowledge and 
wisdom, to submit to our decisions and teachings. 
AVe do not feel always bound to explain to them the 



Man's Attitude. 9S 

reasons for our conduct towards them. Often they 
are unable to understand and appreciate them. We 
say to them, It is enough for you to know that it is 
I who speak. We require cheerful acquiescence 
even when the child does not understand thereasons. 
And yet with our poor, little, finite, narrow, short- 
sighted minds, we set ourselves up and challenge 
the wisdom of the allwise God, and bring him to 
trial. What is man that he should undertake to 
raise an objection to anything which God says ! I 
imagine the ephemeral insect on the leaf of the forest 
tree exalting itself to comprehend its structure, to 
complain that it might have been made differently, 
and better. Man setting himself up to repl} r against 
God is equally ridiculous. W'hat the creature lias to 
do is to learn what the creator says. And while our 
reason tells us this, men are continually demanding 
of the Almighty to explain the grounds of His con- 
duct — and setting their wisdom against His. What 
a strange and absurd attitude for a poor, weak, help- 
less, sinful creature to assume towards his Almighty 
Father ! 

God, who is infinite in wisdom, in knowledge, in 
goodness and love, has a plain right to demand of 
His finite, short-sighted creatures, perfect acquies- 
cence when He speaks to them. "Speak, Lord, for 
thy servant heareth," should be the sentiment of 
every creature. 

II. Still further, we observe the unreasonableness 
of man's attitude towarks God's embassy of reconcilia- 
tion. 



§6 North Carolina Sermons. 

God's world is in a state of apostasy and rebellion. 
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. 
"There is none that doeth good, no, not one." The 
world is full of sin, misery, ruin and death. In God's 
own dominions He is not recognized. He is hated 
and rejected by His own creatures — and His right- 
eous law places them all under condemnation. God, 
in the fulness and freeness of His boundless grace, 
condescends to lay aside the robes of heavenly roy- 
alty and the splendors of His Throne, and comes 
down among us in the person of Jesus Christ, His 
Son, on a mission of reconciliation and peace. He 
comes to his own empire and to His own creatures, 
to redeem and restore them. Before such an exhi- 
bition of infinite condescension and love there are 
many who assume the attitude of bare tolerance. 
They will consent to listen to what God Almighty has to 
say through His embassadors. They will tolerate some- 
times an appeal from Him. When they feel inclined 
the} 7 will give ear to His message. The infinite God 
coming down from heaven to persuade man to be 
saved — to beg and entreat them not to ruin them- 
selves, and offering a complete salvation — and the 
•guilty creature deigning sometimes to listen to what 
he has to say ! 

If any human government sending a simple em- 
bassy to another power, looking to the adjustment 
of some difficulty which has arisen between them, 
should be treated in anything like the manner we 
treat God's embassy of mercy, that government 
would declare war the next hour and open every 



Man's Attitude, 97 

battery it could muster, and the whold world would 
er}r, amen. 

When human governments send embassadors to 
a foreign court to engage in any treaty respecting 
difficulties, they are treated with the highest regard, 

And still the king of heaven, the immaculate, per- 
fect son of God comes into our world clothed with 
divine authority, bringing the credentials of heaven, 
a being whom all righteous spirits — angels, archan- 
gels and seraphim — magnify and adore, and he is 
not suffered to live by his creatures. He is torn 
away from Iiis gentle mercies, from His acts of 
healing, from his tender sympathies, and cruelly 
thrust out of his own dominions by his own crea- 
tures. 

"This is the heir: come let us kill him, and the 
inheritance shall be ours." If the infinite God from 
His imperial throne, had risen in the greatness of 
His majesty, and hurled our earth from its place 
and broken it into a million fragments — had He 
ground it to powder and scattered it out on the 
broad bosom of infinite space, He would have fol- 
lowed the course w T hich human governments would 
follow, if they could exercise the power. He would 
have acted according to human modes of procedure. 

Behold the horrible indignation to which Jesus 
Christ has continued to submit even since His cru- 
cifixion and exaltation. He has proven himself to 
be the light and the life of the world. And yet how 
the world has striven, for twenty centuries, to get 
rid of him ! Why all this bitter opposition to Jesus 



98 North Carolina Sermons. 

Christ throughout the earth ? " God hath a contro- 
versy with His people. 'O my people, what have I 
done unto thee : and wherein have I wearied thee? 
Testify against me.' ' : Why these persistent attempts to 
thrust him out of His own possession? What has 
Jesus Christ done that the world should pitch against 
him thus ? What charges can be brought against 
him ? He was holy, harmless and nndefiled. He 
was meek and lowly of heart, and ever went about 
doing good. Why is the world trying to gather up 
all its talents, and ransacking the earth to discredit 
the Bible, when it is the greatest friend it has ever- 
seen? Why all these desperate endeavors and keen 
desires to show that the Bible is in conflict with 
science? Why this delight in guessing that man is 
only an evolution from lower forms — that he is far 
older than revelation allows? Why the ready ac- 
quiescence of men in the wildest speculation ? What 
is there in the life, the character, the mission of Je- 
sus Christ to excite all this opposition? The gates 
of heaven "were open to receive him, and all the 
heavenly hosts look on him with delight, and shout 
their halleluiahs of praise. 

There are many who declare that they cast no in- 
dignity upon Jesus Christ. They are respectful to- 
wards his teachings; but absorbed in their own pur- 
suits and pleasures, they give him no thought, no 
attention. They are entirely preoccupied. 

Let us look at the unreasonableness and udekedness of 
this attitude. 

The work of redemption is the grandest and most 



Man's Attitude. 99 

glorious of all God's achievements. It challenges 
the attention of the visible and invisible world. It 
awakens the wonder of the angels. With eagerness 
and joy they desire to look into it. All heaven is 
awake with profoundest interest. There never was 
such an expenditure of divine power as is put forth 
in this work of redemption. Christ is called the 
wisdom of God, the power of Ciod — as if there were 
no other wisdom and power. But above all, there 
never w T as such an outgushing of compassion and love 
— and this love so costly ! The price paid fortius re- 
demption is beyond calculation. Shall the mighty 
God expend all this wisdom, all this power, all this 
love ; — shall He exhaust the divine resources and 
achieve a wonder of love which excites the admira- 
tion and attention of all heaven — a wonder that 
gathers all the interests of eternity around it — a won- 
der of love that shall be the chief attraction of His 
intelligent beings throughout endless ages, and shall 
the guilty creature before the presentation of this 
great salvation assume the attitude of inattention 
and indifference! Oh! the wonderful patience of 
God! How amazing that Jesus Christ should sub- 
mit to such indignity ! 

III. We see the unreasonableness of man's attitude to- 
wards God in the application and p>rosecution oj His 
scheme oj mercy. 

After we have broken God's law and dishonored 
Him and brought upon ourselves His just judgment, 
we have to be begged and entreated to accept a free 
salvation. We act as though ive were the offended 



100 North Carolina Sermons. 

party, and wait until we are persuaded and almost 
dragged into heaven. We demand that God shall 
speak to us in an audible voice from heaven — that 
He shall work some miracle before our eyes. We 
demand that He shall regenerate our souls by some 
stroke of power — while we are perfectly passive and 
asleep. We require Him to supercede and override 
our free agency, and save us in some miraculous 
way from the sins we are unwilling to forsake. 

How preposterous to take the position that God 
must thrust us into heaven ! Imagine a prisoner 
who has been long confined in a dungeon with man- 
acles upon his hands and feet. For years his eyes 
have never seen the blue canopy of heaven. Only a 
dim ray of reflected light has stolen through his prison 
bars. He has long been a stranger to the smiles of 
a human face, and the sympathies of a human heart. 
Some day the prison doors are thrown wide open, 
the fetters are loosed, and a pardon signed and sealed, 
is handed him. Would it not be very strange if he 
should take the position that he must be persuaded 
and entreated and forced out of prison? And yet 
God is expected to beg and entreat His own chil- 
dren, year after year, not to ruin themselves, but to 
accept His overtures of mercy and pardon. Men 
have to be plied, again and again, with all the mo- 
tives that can be drawn from heaven, earth and hell, 
to accept a free salvation from eternal ruin. And 
Jesus Christ patiently stands at the door of the hu- 
man heart and pleads for admission. 



Man's Attitude. 101 

a O lovely attitude, he stands 
With melting heart and bleeding hands ; 
O matchless kindness, and he shows 
This matchless kindness to his foes. 1 ' 

He patiently takes all our insults and scorn, all 
our contempt of his dignity and grace, of his cross 
and his blood, and pleads on, saying—" Come unto 
me and I will give you rest." 

He extended the hand of love and 'grace first to 
those who had crucified him. As soon as he rose 
from the dead, he went first to fallen Peter who had 
forsaken and denied him, and spread his love around 
him. 

We are inclined to look at this great matter of sin 
and redemption— this great matter of salvation, al- 
together from our side of the question— from the 
side of our rights. The time will soon come when 
Christ will speak from his side. He is appointed 
Judge of the world, and all the universe shall be as- 
sembled before him. As surely as there is a God ? 
Christ will not then come only bringing pardons, 
and pleading still with the guilty. He will come 
clothed with all the rigors of judicial majesty. He 
will separate the wicked to their fit award. " For 
the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall 
be able to stand ? He is like the refiner's fire, and 
fuller's soap." The guilty soul that has rejected and 
insulted him, and turned away from his bleeding 
love, will tremble and shrink and shiver before his 
offended majesty. 

" Behold He cometh with clouds, and every eye 
7 



102 North Carolina Sermons 4 , 

shall see Him, and they also that pierced Sim." 
Every one of you shall stand face to face with that 
Saviour. You will see the body that was pierced 
for you— you will look into those eyes that wept 
over you. What will you say when he shall appear, 
no longer as the pleading Saviour, but as the Al- 
mighty Judge. He will come with his winnowing 
fan in his hand, he will thoroughly purge his floor 
— the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. 
The goodness and forbearance of God have been 
tried all in vain— mow behold His severity ! Be-- 
bold the wrath of the Lamb f Depart ye cursed into 
everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his an- 5 
gels. And all the universe shall say, amen I 



THE HUMAN BODY. 

BJ- Rev.. J.. Jj Resn, 
Df the North Carolina Conference.' 



Neglecting of the t>ody,-=Col. ii: 23. 

Man is "fearfully and wonderfully made/' a com-* 
plex organism, consisting of body and soul, visible 
and invisible, material and spiritual, a child of na- 
ture and of God, constituting in himself, on the one 
hand, a microcosm — image of the world — , and, on 
the other hand, a microtheos — image of God. 



The Human Body. 103 

These elements of manhood were divinely intend- 
ed to exist together in harmonious relations in this 
world, that by their co-ordination man might be 
able to fulfil his grand mission as announced when 
he was created in Adam, and also to attain his high 
•destiny as announced in his redemption through 
Christ. 

This complete view of man as he is has never been 
popular in any system of philosophy or religion, in 
ancient or modern times. Theistic and atheistic spec- 
ulations have both erred by magnifying one element 
of manhood at the expense of the other, hence the 
materialistic deification of nature on the one hand, 
and the spiritualistic contempt of it on the other. 
The one party has labored for ages to divorce spirit 
from matter, the other to divorce matter from spirit. 
Both have failed, and for the simple reason that 
what God hath joined together no man can put 
■asunder. He has wedded together the visible form 
and the invisible spirit in the nature of man, and 
both are necessary for the performance of human 
functions, and the attainment of human destiny: 
and from the day when the apostle warned the Co- 
lossians against u neglecting of the body " to the 
present time the warning has been necessary. As 
the result of ancient Gnosticism, which held that all 
matter is essentially evil, out of which developed the 
asceticism, monasticism, and mystic fanaticism of 
the post-apostolic church, the necessity and impor- 
tance of the human body was lost sight of, and, if 
we are not mistaken, it is still greatly underestima- 



104 North Carolina Sermons. 

ted in christian thought. The sentiment is but toa 
common that the body is a worthless clog retarding 
the soul in its upward flight, a clumsy environment 
from which escape should be regarded as the true 
enfranchisement of the immortal mind. Such a no- 
tion is supported by neither Scripture nor reason. 
To redeem the human body from this humiliating 
view is the object of this discourse. 

The following reflections, therefore, on the sub- 
jective importance of the body, and its relations to 
the objective universe, will not, I trust, be deemed 
out of place in this connection. It is of too great 
importance to be ignored in any rational and Scrip- 
tural attempt to describe man as he is, and as he is 
to be hereafter. This is seen in the following par- 
ticulars : 

1. The body occupies an important place in man's crea- 
tion. I will not sa}' that man could not exist until 
a body was created for him, but he certainly did not 
exist until that was done. The creation of the body 
was the first act performed, and the first part men- 
tioned in the Mosaic description of man's creation, 
and, beyond question, occupies a prominent place 
in the only authoritative account on record of man's 
origin. The body is the substructure of which the 
rational soul is the superstructure, and is as neces- 
sary and important in its place as the base is to the 
stately and beautiful column, or as the solid orb is 
to the effulgence of the sun. 

We may say without fear of contradiction that 
God never did anything without sufficient reason. 



The Human Body. 105 

for it, and that man would never have had a body 
at all had it not been a matter of importance both 
for his own good, and for the glory of his creator ; 
therefore the very fact that he has a body, formed 
by the power of God, is proof of its great impor- 
tance. 

2. The body occupies an important place in man's 
work Here its importance appears in still stronger 
light. It is absolutely necessary to man in order to 
accomplish his God-given mission in that sphere of 
life in which he was first placed. He was originally 
destined to dwell in this world for a time, and for a 
purpose. That purpose is declared in the divine 
announcement, " Let us make man * * * and 
let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and 
over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and 
over all the earth, * * * So God created man, 
* * * And God blessed them, and God said unto 
them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the 
earth, and subdue it, and have dominion," etc. That 
was his mission here, declared to him before his fall, 
and hence he was placed in the material " garden 
to dress it and to keep it." Man is divinely appoint- 
ed as the absolute lord of this earth—may we not 
say of all material things ? The objects over which 
he is appointed to rule are specified in Genesis as 
" every living thing," and, also, " over all the earth." 
In the light of human history and modern science 
we can apprehend, and to some extent comprehend, 
what is the stupendous meaning of this clause, "over 
all the earth." It seemsboth to refer to its immense ma- 



106 North Carolina Sermons. 

terial mass, and its invisible laws and forces. It has 
long been compelled to yield to man's wants much 
of its precious treasure— its vegetable, animal and 
mineral wealth. Now, man, guided by the genius 
of modern science, is compelling it to tell the story 
of its birth and the long- hidden mystery of its 
growth. He is translating and transferring the rock- 
written language of primeval earth to his own im- 
mortal vocabulary, to be preserved in the archives 
of the universe when the original scroll of rock shall 
have been "melted with fervent heat," He compels 
the earth to surrender her long-imprisoned pre-his- 
toric fauna and flora to adorn his museums, and 
store his mind with truth. He has discovered and 
formulated the laws that control her vast and com- 
plicated machinery from the nebulous formation of 
matter and of protoplasmic structure of organic be- 
ing, to the attraction of gravitation which holds the 
universe in leash. He is evoking the proud spirits 
of her invisible forces, and they are coming forth to 
do his bidding. Electricity carries his messages 
around the globe with a speed that shames the fleet- 
footed coursers of the dawn. Steam contributes its 
titanic strength to bear his burdens, and supplement 
the cunning skill of his fingers. The atmosphere is. 
opening up to him a pathway through her trackless 
domain. Light pencils for his esthetic taste the form 
of beauty on the glowing canvass. Sound consents to 
keep his thoughts and tones in store and repeat them 
to future generations. When we consider what man 
has achieved in the last century it is likely tkat at 



The Human Body. 107 

no distant day the law of gravity itself will obey his 
will on a scale which to us would now be miracu- 
lous. 

In view of the divine announcement of man's des- 
tiny, in view of what he has already accomplished, 
and the rapid advances he is now making in the 
many departments of thought and activity, I doubt 
not that the race is destined to remain on this earth 
until the divine command is fulfilled to "replenish 
the earth, and subdue it" until it reveals to him all 
history of its past existence, until its every atom 
contributes to his knowledge and welfare, and until 
its every law and influence is subject to his will. 
In the performance of these wondrous achievements 
the body is an absolute necessity. I believe that ail 
knowledge and force are vested in spirit, but I also 
believe that neither can reach its highest achieve- 
ment and manifestation without the agency of mat- 
ter without the material means to control, combine 

and manipulate material substance into outward and 
visible expressions of thought and power. And 
herein is revealed the superiority of men over an- 
gels. Man is endowed with creative genius and skill; 
and through the agency of his material form he is 
able to demonstrate his wonderful endowments, and 
to impress his subjective power upon the objective 
world. Angels, whose mode of existence has no ma- 
terial basis, are incapable it seems of manipulating 
material substances. Are they learned in art and 
science? Have they ever invented anything? Are 
they endowed with genius and skill ? Have they 



108 North Carolina Sermons. 

ever, during their long existence, erected to them- 
selves a single monument of art? If so, where is 
the proof? It is not in the Bible ; it is not in na- 
ture ; it is not in any part of the universe accessible 
to us. So far as facts concerning them are revealed, 
in the exercise of genius and skill, they have raised 
not a stone, they have carved not a line to speak of 
their presence in the universe. If they were blotted 
out of existence to-day we have no evidence that 
they would leave a footprint on the sands of time. 
Doubtless they fill an important place, and have an 
important place in the realm of sentient existence, 
but it does not seem to lie in the God-like endow- 
ments of creative genius and skill, manifesting them- 
selves in art and science, the dreams of poets to the 
contrary notwithstanding. 

Here, then, is a vast difference between men and 
angels, and a vast advantage on the side of man. 
The being who is endowed with genius and skill, 
and is prepared to exercise them, is, above all others, 
most like God. Man is gifted with these, and 
for their exercise the bod}^ is necessary. Such a 
thing as practical skill in man could not be without 
the body, nay without even the ten fingers. If all 
men had been made just as they are, with the excep- 
tion of the fingers, their earthly mission would have 
been a total failure. The fingers areas necessary in 
the work of subduing and dominating the earth as 
are the brain and spirit of man. Had they been 
left off he would have been deprived of the ability 
to execute his will in the development of his higher 



The Human Body. 109 

powers. His genius might inspire, his reason might 
devise, his will might dictate, but without his fingers 
there could be no execution ; and without the body 
there could be no outer expression of the inner work- 
ing of the soul. It is the medium through which 
he acts upon the objective universe. By its help he 
has extended his observations, his knowledge, and 
his operations to an extent that borders on the mi- 
raculous. 

By its muscular power, aided by the cunning fin- 
gers, the telegraph line is laid and electricity tells to 
the ends of the earth the workings of the mind ; 
steam is harnessed and driven where the will dic- 
tates ; ships are built and the ocean is crossed ; the 
balloon is constructed and man ascends to the region 
of the clouds; submarine armor is made and the 
depths of the ocean are searched for its hidden 
treasures; the telescope is raised and the material 
eye reveals to the mind the mysteries of the starry 
heaven ; and books are written that immortalize 
the revelations of God and the achievements of man. 

Without the aid of the body none of these things 
could have been done. In all this, and infinitely 
more, it is essentially necessary. Were the human 
race suddenly translated from the earth it would 
leave its monuments everywhere. In the pyramid 
and pillar pointing to heaven, in the mining shaft 
that taps the bowels of the earth, in the tunnel that 
burrows through the mountain, and in many a work 
of art the earth would be able to tell through all 
her future course the story of man's former residence 



110 North Carolina Sermons. 

here. This he has clone, yet, doubtless, it is but the 
beginning of inconceivable achievements to be ac- 
complished before his earthly mission is over. And 
the body is the executive agent performing it all. 
If man, impelled onward by reason, genius and 
skill, does all this in the temporary encampment of 
this life, what will he not do when he reaches his 
eternal home? We can only look up and wonder ! 
3. The body occupies an important place in man's ulti- 
mate destiny. In this the question of its eternal im- 
portance is settled. From the Bible we learn that 
the spirit cannot enter upon its final career without 
the body ; hence the resurrection. The spirit can- 
not be judged without the body ; hence the placing 
of the judgment after the resurrection. And the 
spirit is not glorified without the body. The apoca- 
lyptic visions reveal the glorified saints in heaven 
in bodily form, clothed in white robes, with crowns 
on their heads, and with palms and harps in their 
hands, as they sing the new song of their ultimate 
salvation. The spirit cannot realize its high destiny 
and fulfil its grand heavenly mission until "new 
heavens and a new earth" are prepared for the body. 
So important is it that the spiritual heaven itself, 
hitherto inhabited by immaterial beings, must take 
on a visible, material expression to accommodate it- 
self to the wants of embodied men. On the night 
before His crucifixion the Saviour said, " In my Fa- 
ther's house are many mansions, * * * I go to 
prepare a place for you ; and if I go and prepare a 
place for you I will come again and receive you 



The Human Body, 111 

unto myself, that where I am [in the body] there ye 
may be also." Some sixty years after this He grant- 
ed to St. John a prophetic revelation of "the New 
Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, 
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband " with 
"all manner of precious stones " forher foundations, 
and her walls "clear as crystal," filled with the light 
of God and the Lamb. And this is the future home 
of the embodied saints. Thus we see that heaven 
itself must be re-edified to become a suitable abode 
for the residence of redeemed and embodied men, 
allied as they are, and must forever be, to the outer, 
visible universe. 

The Scriptures teach us that through universal 
combustion all nature will be clarified and transfig- 
ured, filled with light, and made fit material for the 
exercise of the fully developed powers of glorified 
man. Then, as the learned Schoeberlein has well 
said, what holds good of nature in general, holds 
pre-eminently so of the resurrection body. The 
future body will be spiritualized because of the in- 
dwelling supremacy of the life-giving Spirit of God. 
Such a body will be essentially a body of light, a 
heavenly body. 

Being thoroughly imbued with the spiritual ele- 
ment it will be in harmony with itself and with God, 
hence it will be immortal. It is onty in this its true 
spirituality that the body reaches its real destina- 
tion. It will be a body of light, and hence it will 
manifest to the universe the very finest shades of 
thought and feeling which exist in the soul. 



112 North Carolina Sermons. 

But the glorified bodies will not be monotonous 
duplicates of each other. As there is endless variety 
of individuality in character, so this variety in its 
most delicate shades will shine forth from the heav- 
enly bodies. As one star differs from another star 
in glory — -as there is one glory of the sun, and an- 
other of the moon — so with the galaxy of resurrec- 
tion bodies. 

Here human nature will have attained to com- 
plete glory. With the clarification of the body the 
personality rises to complete inner unity. Whereas 
in this life we consist of the three elements — body, 
soul and spirit — which may even be separated from 
each other, in the heavenly life the body and soul 
will be so pervaded with spirit that the entire hu- 
man being will present but one unitary spiritual 
life. As Christ, the head of the kingdom, is the 
Spirit by pre eminence, so we, his members, will 
likewise be spirit — spirit in the highest, and, also, 
most concrete sense, as a realistic unity of personal 
and natural life through the power of the Holy 
Ghost. And as the body will be a mirror of, so will 
it be a suitable home for the soul. In the earthy 
body instead of beholding heavenly things face to 
face, we are shut up to the path of faith. But then 
we " shall see face to face " " and know even as we 
ourselves also are known." 

As the body will stand in full communion with 
the kingdoms of natural and spiritual light, it will 
be superior to the laws of gravitation and passivity, 
and will move at will through the realms of space. 



The Human Body. 113 

Wherever the soul may will to be there it will be 
able to be. Hence, the body will not be a prison, 
but a free home for the soul. 

Also it will serve the soul as a perfect organ for 
intercourse with the outer world. This intercourse 
will be as essential in the future as in the present, 
It will onty then exist in perfection for nature will 
then stand in a more obedient relation to the soul. 
Man will enjoy nature through all his senses. He 
will " eat of the tree of life," and " drink of the fruit 
of the vine/' 

The Paradise that existed before sin will be re- 
stored in thousand fold splendor after redemption. 
Ail natural features will be retained, though glori- 
fied, and we will be able to recognize friends at sight 
as we do here. But we may be sure that man's re- 
lation to nature will be not merely receptive, but, 
also, active. As it is man's calling even here to 
shape nature to perfection, much more will it be 
so hereafter. The whole realm of transfigured ma- 
teriality will be one vast platform for the plastic in- 
fluence of glorified men. Hence, science, and art, 
and the mechanism of life, will reach the ideal per- 
fection toward which they here grope in vain. 

For his active relation to nature, man will have 
in his glorified powers, the suitable means. As his 
heart will beat with the heart of God, his spirit will 
find no hindrance to its outgoings. l We are sown 
in weakness, but ive rise in power.' We shall subsist 
in ever full vigor and enthusiasm. Nor will the 
body be more serviceable for communion with outer 



114 North Carolina Sermons. 

nature than with the world of personalities. It is 
■only through the body that love reveals its inner 
life and imparts its gifts. If one personal spirit 
could be conscious of the presence of another with- 
out the medium of bodily organs of some sort both 
the fact and the manner of it are alike inconceiva- 
ble to us. 

Thus we reach the goal of our search. Our bodies 
are not mere caducous husks, to be thrown off when 
the soul is ripe; but nature and the kingdom of 
God, the rational soul and the human body belong 
normally and essentially together. When the one 
is transfigured the other is transfigured. And when, 
at the goal of moral development, they are risen to 
integral unity, then they persist, through eternit}^ 
as intimately united as form and substance, light 
and color. 

Finally, our Lord Jesus Christ now exists in a hu- 
man body, and will dwell in it with his saints for- 
ever. His body is indescribably luminous as it was 
seen, with Moses and Elias, on the mount of trans- 
figuration, and, also, by John as He stood in the 
midst of the seven golden candlesticks. And the 
glorious wonder is the bodies of His saints will be 
like His! He " shall change our vile body, that it 
may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, ac- 
cording to the working whereby he is able even to 
subdue all things unto himself." "Howbeit that was 
not first which is spiritual, but that which is natu- 
ral ; and afterward that which is spiritual. The 
first man is of the earth., earthy ■; the second man is 



The Human Body. 115 

the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are 
they also that are earthy, and as is the heavenly such 
are they also that are heavenly. And aswehavehorue 
the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the im- 
age of the heavenly.'' "Then shall the righteous 
shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their father; 
who hath ears to hear let him hear," We learn 
from this : 

1. That the human body is not evil in itself, but 
a necessary factor in the constitution, mission, and 
destiny of redeemed and glorified manhood. 

2. That man was never intended to live in eter- 
nal, listless indolence, to enjoy, without effort or 
thought, the spontaneous bounties of nature. 

3. That, endowed with Godlike genius and skill, 
and the power to execute, it is of the very essence of 
the idea of man that to him is given the power and 
assigned the duty, by divine help, of solving the 
problem of his own perfected being, and the words 
of Christ should ever be his motto • " My Father 
■worketh hitherto, and I work J' 

4. That, if true to themselves and their God, men 
may rise to dominion over all created things, and 
reign with Christ "far above all principality, and 
power, and might, and dominion, and every name 
that is named, not only in this world, but also in 
that which is to come, inasmuch as they constitute 
His " church, which is His body, the fullness of him 

THAT FILLETH ALL IN ALL." 

"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift !" 



116 North Carolina Sermons. 



THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT. 

By Rev. George W. Neat.,. 
Of the North Carolina Local Ministers' Conference. 



The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the 
children of God.— Rom. viii: 10. 



I. God has given to man in the Physical world a witness to guide 
him to knowledge. 

II. God has also given to man a witness in the Spiritual world to 
guide him tosalvation. 

III. The unspeakable reward of accepting the Witness. 

I. God has given to man in the Physical world a witness 
to guide him to knowledge. 

When Jehovah by his creative fiat spoke the uni- 
verse into existence, He endowed matter with cer- 
tain laws which should not only portray infinite 
wisdom, but direct man, monarch of the new-born 
earth, in fixing the position and relations of his own 
planet amid other worlds. The Almighty has belt- 
ed His works with significant lines, and clothed 
them with burning truths that struggle to come 
forth into noon-day light, and stand as witnesses for 
Him. But he has decreed that the intellect He gave 
man, must laboriously and reverently thread those 
trembling lines, that penetrate the deep labyrinths 
of his majesty, to realize the presence of that Wit- 
ness who speaks for nature, and for Nature's God. 
The omnipotent Father sweeps countless stars and 



Witness op the Spirit, 117 

comets in the trackless regions of space, but in the 
hands of man, He pats a measure to touch them in 
their most eccentric flight, and stop them there to 
see. He plants His witnesses from centre to circum- 
ference of His vast domain ; bids man strive, search, 
study, and adore the great tests which guide him in 
the acquisition of knowledge. When the Psalmist 
proclaims that the u heavens declare the glory of 
Ood, and the firmament shovveth His handywork," 
lie announces a great truth for every man, against 
which no mortal eye must be closed. Every mind, 
every heart, must humbly hear the sublime state- 
ment, and faithfully work to evoke the voice of the 
witness that stands ready to render the truthful ev- 
idence. The mathematician may bring forth his 
angles and curves, and lay them on the broad face 
of the creation to elicit the deep-seated truth, as wit- 
ness of the divine glory declared in the word of God. 
This he must do, or fail to see the great panorama 
before him. The untutored savage, as he trips in 
the forest by night or day must turn his unculti- 
vated mind to the Great Spirit, and wonder beneath 
the transcendent power that hung above him the 
arching sky. Every heart, every clime, every na- 
tion, must seek, must hear, the witness, or remain in 
darkness. Nowhere is the voice of the eternal Fa- 
ther silent. In the stupendous world, and in the 
smallest atom, the witness speaks. In all the rela- 
tions and vocations of life, our merciful Parent has, 
in infinite wisdom and goodness, provided a test to 
be offered as a guide which man must approve and 



118 North Carolina Sermons. 

be benefited, or refuse, and suffer tbe consequences. 
Divine munificence in tbe economy of nature has so 
ordered the seasons and physical forces, that the 
husbandman can and must soon learn, that there are 
before him conditions of great value for acceptance 
or rejection. He must study wisely the sure test 
Which offers ample testimony. He must comply 
with the conditions which nature in her imperative 
mood strictly enjoins ; and when the harvest is 
white and abundant, he will learn that obedience to 
the witness has purchased an experience that is re- 
liable, profitable, and competent to direct him amid 
the chilling blasts and stern uncertainties that envi- 
ron his way. He is free to use or disregard the fixed 
standard ; but the consequences of his choice must 
accordingly fall upon him. 

The chemist has ascertained in obedience to the 
great law of nature that certain elements, entirely 
different, when mixed, combine indefinite and un- 
alterable proportions, and afford to the world, by 
divine arrangement, a blessing in the name of med- 
icine. Experience teaches him to look as steadfastly 
to these fixed principles of his science to guide him, 
as the ocean bound mariner watches the magnetic 
needle that is true to the pole. The practical phy- 
sician relies upon the medicine which the chemist 
has compounded by experience, and finds it by ex- 
periment wisely adapted to restore the exhausted 
functions of the patient, who is no less faithful in 
testing the prescribed remedy. But the patient has 
power to refuse the remedy and die. The doctor 



Witness of the Spirit. 119 

can discard the skill of the chemist, and lose his 
profession and its benefits to mankind. The chem- 
ist in turn, can refuse to believe the teachings of his 
own experimental science, and thus reject its trans- 
ports, honors, and advantages which a gracious Crea- 
tor has freely offered. But in all this, the benefit is 
lost, because the faithful witness has been unheeded, 
though still true with earnest pleadings to give the 
needed guidance. 

11. God has also given to man a witness in the Spiritual 
world to guide him to Salvation. 

1. The solemn import of the second proposition 
asks every soul this question : If God has stamped 
the impress of His beneficence on the material crea- 
tion to direct His creatures, will He throw wonder- 
ful man guideless and comfortless on the uncertain 
ocean of a wonderful life for a wonderful end ? Will 
divine goodness forsake the immortal spirit of an 
intelligent being, when the greatest Witness and 
Heaven's resources are needed in the fearful conflict ; 
when an undying soul is trembling in the balance, 
will Jehovah withdraw Himself and forget the no- 
blest work beneath the sun ? 

2. The witness awakens. The inspired language 
of the text declares the awful character of the Wit- 
ness. Who " beareth witness with our spirit that 
we are the children of God." He comes with heav- 
en's authority and high commission to stand at 
every corner of man's uncertain way ; to wake the 
sleeper, unconscious of his doom, and give him 



120 North Carolina Sermons". 

power to see celestial light. With the searching 
mandate of the divine Master, He proclaims to every fi 
mortal heart, " Behold,. I stand at the door and 
knock : if any man open the door, I will come in to* 
him, and sup with him, and he with me." He stands, 
has been standing, and continues to stand, as im- 
plied in the Greek text, at the door of every soul. 
Though armed with the omnipotent sceptre of eter- 
nal majesty, He pauses at the door of human respon- 
sibility, and knocks for admittance. He calls aloud 
and persistently to the immortal spirit within to 
open, but he dares not to force the door, and set His 
holy foot over the sacred threshold, till the awakened 
soul obeys the friendly voice, and gives an entrance. 
The inmate of the implied mansion of the human 
heart is represented in the Scripture as having an 
Important part to act in the great transaction be- 
tween the Holy Witness and himself. The door is 
closed, and the iron bar of sin is across it. The all- 
penetrating voice of the Great Spirit reaches the ear 
of the sleeper within who is " dead in trespasses and 
sin," and who alone must open, if ever the faithful 
Witness enter to spread the joyous supper of His 
high mission. The keeper of the house can refuse 
to open the door, but the fearful consequences of the 
broken obligation must rest upon him. 

3. The Witness convinces of sin and bears testi- 
mony to the same. 

Who but the omniscient Spirit can penetrate the 
dark recesses of the heart " that is deceitful above 
all things and desperately wicked" and reprove "the 



Witness of the Spirit. 121 

world of sin" as Jesus said ? Who but this divine 
Messenger can break and lift the rock-like covering 
that imbeds the turpitude of man's wicked heart, 
and send heaven's reproving and vitalizing light 
into that dismal domain ? The answer comes from 
Jesus ; " I will send the Comforter, and He will re- 
prove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judg- 
ment." This Holy Witness with the dread agonies 
I of the cross looks upon the sinner's fallen nature, 
land pours the benedictions of infinite mercy upon 
I its deadened energies in a way that he never forgets, 
when the chain of his bondage is broken, and the 
light of redemption in Christ beams upon his soul. 
But with this high privilege, let the enthralled heart 
of the impenitent tremble, because the same august 
authority affirms with divine emphasis : "My Spirit 
; shall not always strive with man : Quench not the 
Spirit." 

4. The Witness regenerates, and bears testimony 
to the same. 

We have earthly friends that stand by us in the 
j darkest hour of adversity ; peril their safety to shield 
our defenceless head s and, when all is gone, extend, 
as the last token of regard, the cordial grasp of a 
friendly hand. They can pour out their sympathies 
and tears in the trying hour of expiring nature. 
But neither they, nor angel, nor archangel, can ex- 
tract the scorpion sting of sin, and its distracting 
guilt from the human heart, and impart ease to an 
aching spirit. God alone can furnish the omniscient 
agent who can explore the corrupt caverns of man's 



122 North Carolina Sermons. 

secret bosoin, and search out the lurking pride, mal- 
ice, ill-will, presumption, vanity, ingratitude, nay, 
the legion of licentious passions that are in league 
with the fires of the nether pit. Who but the Holy 
Ghost, faithful Witness, can drive a softening ray of 
divine light into this granite-like dungeon of vipers 
in man's heart ; burn out the deadly poison which 
is infused into every vital fibre of a wicked nature; 
exhume the loathsome body of sin, and seat the 
demoniac in his right mind at the feet of Jesus upon 
an elevated plane of purity and holiness? No won- 
der, that the apostle, seeing his ruined estate, ex- 
claims, "Oh wretched man that I am ! who shall de- 
liver me from the body of this death ?" but in de- 
liverance, the climax of joy, " I thank God through 
Jesus Christ our Lord." 

Yes, this vile nature of ours must be changed, 
that we may discover fully our high relations to God 
and man. The necessity of this radical change of 
our fallen character is emphatically declared in the 
infallible words of our Saviour to Nicodemus: "Ex- 
cept a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he 
cannot enter the kingdom of God." This is the de- 
cree of the great Master, from which there is no re- 
treat without loss. Man must come by divine ar- 
rangement under this awful transformation in order 
to appreciate those glorious teachings of the all-wise 
Witness, who imparts knowledge on a plane that 
human reason cannot fully reach. Granting all 
that is right to the high claims of man's reason, 
there are grand truths which ought not and cannot 



Witness of the Spirit. 123 

be submitted to the standard of its tribunal for a 
safe verdict. It is not expected of a person always 
blind to know the beauties of nature, the glory and 
benefit of the sun's light. No man can read the 
Greek or Hebrew language, who is not acquainted 
with their characters and principles. The world would 
not call upon a Tyro in mathematics to calculate 
the intricate movements of the complex machinery 
of the universe ; but upon him, who, with thehigher 
branches of this world-searching science, has stood 
by experience on the plane of the eccentric comet 
and the ever revolving orbs of space. 

Our great teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, seals this 
truth, as a guide to the philosophy of mankind ; 
"Except a man be born again (from above,} 
he cannot see the kingdom of God." We claim 
that this word of the Master teaches among 
other things that our sinful natures must be regen- 
erated by the Holy Spirit before we can comprehend 
in heaven's clear light those wonderful facts that 
stand like blazing suns on the high elevation, upon 
which he does his effectual and sublime work. The 
Apostle Paul has graphical^ delineated this grand 
idea in the following language: "The natural man 
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God ; for 
they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know 
them, because they are spiritually discerned." 

The methods of instruction of this august Witness 
impart knowledge with the certainty of demonstra- 
tion, and carries satisfactory evidence to every heart 
that submits implicitly and faithfully to His divine 



124 North Carolina Sermons. 

teachings. His processes are as certain in the mind 
of the regenerated believer, as the conclusions of 
geometry are to the student. He draws his diagrams 
blazing with the light of the eternal Spirit, and 
stamps, with electric speed, the full knowledge of 
demonstration on the soul. It is the part of wisdom 
in man to submit his will with all the pride of rea- 
son to the word and ruling of the Spirit. This po- 
sition is sustained by a cardinal truth of the religion 
of Jesus Christ who declares "if any man will do 
His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it 
be of God." The words of the Master appear to im- 
port surely that we must do the will of God before 
we* can know the truth of the doctrine, whatever it 
may be. Doing God's will, therefore, is the great 
key to unlock heaven and bring down its light and 
glory. But the fearful implication speaks from this 
same impressive language that man can fail to do 
the will of God, and lose the eternal reward of the 
promised knowledge. 

The inspired words of the text show that Jehovah 
has embraced in this stupendous transaction two 
witnesses of the highest authority. The Holy Spirit 
and the spirit of man. Heaven and earth stand side 
by side in the mighty decision that affects the final 
and eternal destiny of the creature. The faithful 
Witness lifts the curtain of the believer's heart, and 
points with index finger his active consciousness to 
the first stroke and place of conviction. He rolls 
back the checkered pages of memory, and restores 
the "wormwood and the gall." He flashes over his 



Witness of the Spirit. 125 

soul the gracious light of the day of his awakening 
from the terrible sleep of sin. He presents to his 
grateful heart the radiant arm of Mercy staying the 
ready sword of justice ; above all, He stretches before 
the enraptured vision the omnipotent hand that 
sundered the remorseless chain which bound his 
captive spirit, and made him a free man in Christ 
Jesus. 

With this accumulated flood of testimony, He ap- 
peals to the throbbing, humbled, thankful heart of 
the christian who exclaims with all the emphasis 
and truthfulness of his soul, " The Spirit itself bear- 
eth witness with our spirit that we are the children 
of God ; he that believeth on the son of God hath 
the witness in himself." 

III. The unspeakable reward of accepting the Witness. 

The man who has accepted this Holy Witness and 
submitted to be " led of the Spirit" in the vicissi- 
tudes of his eventful career, now occupies an ele- 
vated position above the level of nature, from which 
his eye can sweep with accuracy the field of life's 
and death's realities, and measure with composure 
his responsible relations amid the mighty revolu- 
tions of men and things. He has fled from the city 
of destruction in the plain. He has ascended the 
resplendent summit of Calvary, to which the great 
Witness has led, and taken his stand safe beneath the 
Cross on the hallowed brow of that sacred mount. 
He sees below the world's dreadful conflict. He 
reads the doom of fallen impenitent man amid the 



1^6 North Carolina Sermons. 

angry clin of the infuriated mob that press hard the 
innocent steps of Jesus. He hears distinctly the 
maddened shouts of Satan's hosts that would stifle 
the great voice of truth, and settle its eternal decis- 
ions with the thundering noise of the multitude. 
Though safe beside the Cross, he trembles for the 
curse of unbelief which is written in characters of 
torment upon the brow of Priest, Scribe, and all who 
reject Jesus, saying, "He saved others; himself he 
cannot save; let Him come down from the cross, 
and we will believe in Him." 

Under the flood of divine light that pours from 
the Cross upon his submissive head, he sees with 
faith and patience the mighty wheels of God's provi- 
dence, as they roll out in rapid succession the start- 
ling destinies of men and nations according to their 
deeds. When the hand of affliction is twisting 
every nerve of his inmost heart, he bows his humble 
head, and hears his Father's voice, " I will not leave 
thee, nor forsake thee." If Satan marshals his ma- 
lignant hosts and hurls his fiery darts, his ready re- 
fuge lies behind the Cross. He looks upon the cross 
and reads in the blazing handwriting of Deity, death 
and victory. He turns his eye to the dark gateway 
of the tomb of every mortal. Amid the gloom that 
shrouds the dreadful entrance, the faithful Witness 
pours the light of Calvary, and the trusting soul of 
the christian man traces on its pale arch, " Death is 
swallowed up in victory; death, where is thy 
sting ? grave, where is thy victory ?" 

The last visions of this transitory world are fading 



Witness of the Spirit. 127 

fast amid the declining energies of mortal life. His 
quickening eye sweeps the field of his earthly ca- 
reer, trials and duty. He feels the powers of the 
world to come, and, in the spirit of his divine Mas- 
ter, he exclaims in triumph, " It is finished." In 
the dreadful agonies of expiring nature, he holds 
with unflinching grasp the mighty Cross. This 
glorious symbol of death and life, radiant with 
heaven's eternal light, transports him above the dis- 
mal portal of the grave. 

Its divine magnetism lifts his entranced soul 
higher and higher amid the unfolding and unfading 
glories of the heavenly Canaan, till the New Jerusa- 
lem, flooded with the overwhelming splendor of the 
Sun of Righteousness, breaks upon his ravished 
vision, and throws wide its dazzling gates to wel- 
come him whom Jesus loved ; and in his home of 
eternal day with reunited family, his ransomed 
powers forever and ever stretch along the infinite 
scale of intellectual and spiritual progress, and meas- 
ure the ever-widening fields of everlasting bliss. 



128 North Carolina Sermons. 



CHRISTIAN HOLINESS. 

By Rev. Tiios. S. Campbell. 
Of the North Carolina Conference. 



This is the law of the house: upon the top of the mountain the whole 
limit thereof roundabout shall be most holy. Behold this is the law 
of the house.— Ezek. xliii: 12. 

But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in al 1 manner 
of conversation ; Because it is written. Be ye holy; for I am holy.— I 
Peter, i: 15, 16. 

The prophet gave assurance that when God's peo- 
ple should be released from captivity and restored 
to their native land, the temple being rebuilt and all 
the sanctities of God's service observed, holiness 
would be their distinguishing characteristic. The 
house where God is worshipped should be inscribed 
with holiness. "This is the law of the house * * 
* The whole limit thereof shall be most holy," &c. 
This house and the law pertaining to it, may be 
properly regarded as symbolical of the church in 
general ; or specifically of the house where God is 
statedty worshipped. It should be regarded as a 
holy place. " Ye shall reverence my sanctuary." 
For any other than the worship of God, and that 
which properly pertains to his service, the house of 
God should never be used. " This is the law of the 
house." The church, in the aggregate of its mem- 
bers, in all things relating to moral discipline and 
in all the elements of moral character in each mem- 



Christian Holiness. 129 

ber, should be holy. The whole economy of God in 
the Bible aims at the restoration of man's moral na- 
ture to the lost image of God. A church has been 
organized for this end ; all its ceremonies and ordi- 
nances bear the impress of holiness ; so that man 
may be raised to an apprehension of its nature, a 
knowledge of its necessity and the attainment of its 
blessedness. Here is inscribed the law of the church. 
It is the law of holiness. Its doctrines, its discipline? 
its morals, its members, shall conform to this law. 
This applies specially and particularly to the char- 
acter, the life, and the conversation (example) of its 
members. As he which hath called you is holy, so 
be ye in all manner of conversation — i. e., in all 
things. It is of incalculable importance that we 
learn what the gospel proposes as our present duty 
and personal privilege, and what spiritual excel- 
lence it has for us now. It designs that the church 
shall be useful in securing the holiness of its mem- 
bers ; and further useful by diffusing holiness and 
saving the world. By its organization and its mis- 
sion, it is intended to be a power in the earth. The 
greatest power of the church is in its holiness. We 
may build churches, found charities, promote learn- 
ing, educate ministers, send out missionaries, hold 
protracted meetings, have revivals, increase our 
numbers and extend our borders, but all will be in 
vain if we fail to see and seek that spiritual perfec- 
tion which the Bible places within our reach. God 
requires holiness and that in perfection. " Walk 
before me and be thou perfect." " Be ye therefore 



130 North Carolina Sermons. 

perfect." " Let us go on to perfection." But what 
is this holiness — this perfection ? 

God only is absolutely holy. His holiness is in- 
finite purity. " Who is like unto Thee, glorious in 
holiness?" He is usually designated " The Holy 
One of Israel." Watson says: "The holiness of God 
is that principle which causes him to prescribe jus- 
tice, mercy and truth, and to forbid their opposites. 
This makes him love righteousness and condemn 
wickedness." The holiness of a moral agent is con- 
formity to the known will of God. " The brightest 
and loveliest idea that can enter the human mind 
is that of moral order and purity of heart." Holi- 
ness is purity of heart and righteousness of life. The 
full idea may be expressed by the term uprightness. 
A staff is mathematically upright when it stands 
perpendicular to a plane. So we are risen from our 
fallen condition by recovering grace. This grace 
secures in us experimentally and practically, con- 
formity to the will of God. This includes our justi- 
fication and thorough renovation. Justification or 
pardoning grace removes our guilt and condemna- 
tion. This is granted through the merit of Christ, 
and entitles us to heaven. The inward renewal fits 
us for heaven by the destruction of sin. Without 
the merit of Christ we could have no claim to glory; 
without the new creation no fitness for it. By justi- 
fication we become children and heirs of God. By 
holiness we are made meet to be partakers of the in- 
heritance of the saints. A minor may be heir to an 
estate but lack the qualification to possess and en- 



Christian Holiness. 131 

joy it. But when we are brought into this gracious 
state we are at once both entitled and qualified. "As 
many as received him to them gave he power (right 
or privilege) to become the sons of God, which were 
* * born of God." Purity of heart is the qualifi- 
cation : "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they 
shall see God." This purity consists in the removal 
of sin and sinful principles, which is called anew 
creation. "If any man be in Christ he is a new 
creature," or there is a new creation — he is created 
anew. Out of the elements of the moral wreck God 
creates a new spiritual man bearing his own image. 
In physics, any precious metal, as gold, is said to 
be pure when all alloy is removed. So the heart is 
pure when cleansed from the dross of carnality and 
the alloy of unrighteousness. " I will turn my hand 
upon thee and purely purge away thy dross and 
takeaway all thy sin." " He will sit as a refiner 
and purifier of silver and purge them as gold and 
silver." " He shall baptize them with the Holy 
Ghost and with fire." He will make a thorough and 
complete purification. " The blood of Jesus Christ 
cleanseth from all sin. He is faithful to cleanse 
from all unrighteousness." We hence find the terms 
saved, sprinkled, purged, cleansed, used as expres- 
sive of the Spirit's operations. Not a few 7 have fallen 
into the error that the change indicated is gradual — 
that we gradually come out of the thraldom of sin 
and are gradually restored to spiritual life and 
health. But all the figures employed to aid our 
ideas are such as to impress the thought that the work 



132 North Carolina Sermons, 

is affected by a word or a spiritual influence as sure- 
ly as that Christ restored sight to the blind, cleansed 
the leper, raised the dead and cast out devils with a 
word. If He is approached with earnest petition, 
" Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean," He 
will respond " I will, be thou clean." Thou art then 
raised not partially but entirely from the death of 
sin unto the life of righteousness. The spiritual be- 
ing is renewed, created anew— renovated. The first 
stage of this work is usually called regeneration. 
This word occurs only twice in the Bible (Matt, xix* 
28 ; Titus iii: 5), and is clearl} 7 the same as trans- 
formation. " Be ye transfoimed by the renewing of 
your minds." For the want of better language we 
speak of the second stage which is properly the de- 
velopement and maturity of the grace and virtues 
implanted in us by the renewing of the spirit of God. 
Holiness implies, says Watson, both the regenera- 
tion of those who have penitently received Christ 
and the maturity of all the graces of their new na- 
ture, by the same influences of the Holy Ghost. 
This is holiness which means wholeness or com- 
pleteness in fixedness of purpose and integrity of 
moral character. It is an eye single and a heart 
fixed. We may legitimately call this perfection or 
completeness of christian character. First there is 
purity, then maturity. According to this teaching, 
we begin a new life when renewed in the spirit of 
our mind. Then leaving the first principles we go 
on to perfection or maturity. Mr. Wesley says 
" The new birth is the entrance to holiness — the gate 



Christian Holiness. 133 

to full salvation. Here inward and outward holi- 
ness begins. We then grow up." He illustrates his 
idea by a child born into the world (a perfect hu- 
man being) whose physical being becomes stronger 
and larger by degrees. So there are different stages 
of the christian life as of the natural. We are born 
of the Spirit, then increase in stature until we are 
matured or perfectly developed. Such a life as God 
imparts to the humble and contrite believer, will 
evince its presence and power by all the activities of 
holy obedience. The corn, or germ of grace, will 
show itself not merely in the peering of the tender 
plant, and growth of the sturdy stalk, but the full 
corn in the ear. Hungering and thirsting after 
righteousness — an all-absorbing desire for holiness — 
is the legitimate effect of that sanctifying spirit im- 
parted to them in the work of their new creation. 
I will here say, there appears at this age seemingly 
in the minds of many a less distinct idea of what is 
meant by the terms sanctification, holiness and per- 
fection, than in the earlier ages of our church. These 
terms are frequently used in technical theology to 
express one and the same thing, and at other times 
to express different stages and attainments of the 
christian life. They are frequently used inter- 
changeably ; so that the growth and maturity of 
which we have spoken are expressed by the one 
word, sanctification, and this so frequently that 
sanctification is made to denote the highest attain- 
ment and privilege of the believer. There are three 

kinds of sanctification taught in the Bible, or I ought 
9 



134 North Carolina Sermons. 

to say the term embraces three distinct ideas. 1. 
Ceremonial sanctification is frequently inculcated in 
the Scriptures and should now be applied to church 
purity — a moral life and due observance of the ordi- 
nances. 2. Separation to the service of God. "Come 
out and be ye separate." This is properly consecra- 
tion in fact, such as every justified and regenerate 
believer has made of himself when he gave up his 
sins, and with entire submission surrendered his 
heart to God. No one can be converted, using the 
term to mean, changed in the affections and tenden- 
cies of his heart, unless he is thus sanctified. Be- 
lievers are therefore spoken of as the sanctified which 
are in Christ who are called lo a holy life. 3. In- 
wrought holiness is also expressed by the term. 
Sanctification is used twenty-nine times in the New 
Testament; in fourteen it means to make holy by 
consecration, formal devotion to God, and in twelve 
to purify — make holy really. 

The celebrated Arminius says : "1. Sanctification 
is an act by which anything is separated from a 
common and consecrated to a divine use. 2. It is a 
gracious act of God hy which He purifies man, who 
is a sinner and yet a believer, from darkness, igno- 
rance and indwelling sin, and imbues him with the 
spirit of knowledge, righteousness and true holiness; 
so that being separated from the world he lives to 
God." Sanctification is, then, properly the occasion, 
means or process of securing holiness and perfecting 
that holiness, attaining to perfection. A misappre- 
hension of many as to its nature has led to mistakes 



Christian Holiness. 135 

and originated errors that have brought them to the 
verge of fanaticism, if not into it — such as, that it is 
a work different from regeneration and to be sought 
for as we seek our first gracious state with bitter soul- 
anguish and with strong crying and tears. Mr. 
Wesley before he came to Georgia held and preached 
that the sanctification of human nature is accom- 
plished by human sufferings ; and that death will 
destroy the body of sin. Later in life, and before 
fully recovered from error on this subject, he said 
that until sanctification is inwrought, our holiness 
is mixed. We are humble, but not entirely ; our 
humility is mixed with pride; meek, but that is 
mixed with anger or some turbulent passion. Love 
to God is damped by love to some creature. Will is 
submissive, but not wholly. Many accepting this 
as the true Wesleyan theory and the correct expo- 
nent of Methodist doctrine on this important sub- 
ject, have never been able to obtain a theory or spir- 
itual state that is satisfactory. The fear is that many 
base their theory more upon a defective experience 
than upon the Bible. This blessed book, correctly 
and consistent^ interpreted, nowhere sanctions the 
idea of such a mixture or muddle in the experience 
of him whose heart is united in confidence and af- 
fection to God. The only two Scriptures relied upon 
to sustain such a low view of christian experience 
are I Cor. iii: 3, 4, and I Thess. v: 23. Here in Cor- 
inthians Paul is speaking of them as carnal and in 
chapter 1,2 he speaks of these same as sanctified 
in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, i. e., holy ones. 



136 North Carolina Sermons. 

We must then conclude that the term carnal used 
as descriptive of these christians does not mean that 
they were in sin; but that they were human, weak, 
imperfect, and therefore showed these evidences of 
immaturity or spiritual infancy — babyhood; for 
carnal (ver. 3) and babes in Christ (ver. 1) are synon- 
ymous. In Thessalonians when Paul prays, "the 
very God of peace sanctify you wholly," &c, he prays- 
that God would devote, consecrate them completely; 
fully grant them the complement of their regenera- 
tion, perfect holiness ; that thus being the Lord's- 
entirely they might lead a holy life and be kept 
holy, in body, soul and spirit, to the end. What is 
this but to be lifted out of sin on to the high plane 
of a holy life ? " It shall be called the way of holi- 
ness. The unclean shall not pass over it." I John,, 
i: 9, shows that there is as ample provision for cleans- 
ing from all unrighteousness, as for the forgiveness 
of sin. We may ask if any one has saving faith at 
all, whose desire falls below the wish, purpose and 
effort to comprehend this complement of grace in 
Christ? The mistake which includes the idea that 
the christian's experience is mixed lies in accepting 
the last twelve verses of the eighth chapter of Ro- 
mans as the exponent of a christian's experience. 
As though is true of a believer that he is in " bond- 
age sold under sin ;" that sin dwells in him bring- 
ing him into captivity to the law of sin and death. 
If this is a correct representation of christian expe- 
rience it is indeed mixed, and a muddle is made of 
it. This view leaves the christian struggling with 



Christian Holiness. 137 

the body of sin all his life : and his religion is a 
fight without a victory, a toil without rest, and only 
a trouble and sorrow. Yea, we must believe that a 
man is free and yet in bondage; in health and yet 
sick ; a servant and yet a rebel ; alive and dead ; a 
saint and yet a sinner. To set the matter in its true 
light, Paul in the first five chapters of this epistle 
treats of righteousness and the remission of sins; in 
the 6th and 7th chapters, of the power to conquer 
sin and live in a holy manner. Then he draws the 
conclusion in the 8th chapter, 1, 2 ver. : " There is 
therefore now no condemnation to them which are 
in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after 
the spirit." The emphasis lies in the clauses in 
€hrist and walk after the spirit. The law of the spirit 
of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free, i. e., the 
life-giving spirit hath made me free. When Paul 
says "O wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver 
me?" he is personating one not delivered. He does 
not say, wretched christian, or regenerate creature; 
but wretched man, doubtless intending by the 
term, man, one who is struggling in the bondage and 
darkness of sin — fallen nan, convinced of his ruin 
and helplessness. This was the experience of one 
who deplored his lost and helpless estate ; but not 
of him who had passed from death unto life. He 
dwelleth in the sunlight and rejoices in the liberty 
of God's dear children. Paul shows in these chap- 
ters what sort of persons we are before grace changes 
us and what character we have after grace has 
changed us. 



138 North Carolina Sermons. 

The work of purification or sanctification makes 
us holy by the removal of sinful dispositions and 
tendencies. The change wrought in us by the Spirit 
is radical and thorough. Call it by what name you 
please, it makes us free from the power and love of 
sin. When known sin is indulged there is guilt and 
condemnation. The doctrine of sin in believers — the 
term believers signifying justified and regenerate 
christians — is a mistake. Jesus says : "He that com- 
mitteth sin is the servant of sin. Ye shall know the 
truth and the truth shall make you free. If the Son 
shall make you free ye shall be free indeed. He 
that committeth sin is of the devil." " Whosoever is 
born of God doth not commit sin ; for his seed (the 
vital principle of a holy life) remaineth in him and 
he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Whoso- 
ever abideth in him sinneth not." But it is neces- 
sary to know what sin is. I am convinced that 
many have about as vague ideas of sin as they have 
of holiness. The theological definition is : A volun- 
untary departure of a moral agent from a known 
rule of duty prescribed by God, or a voluntary vio- 
lation of a divine command. The Bible definition 
is " Sin is the transgression of the law." "All un- 
righteousness is sin." We may add as to its essence : 
it is inclination, propensity, to do our own will 
rather than the will of God. There are three classes 
of sin : Violation of precepts, neglect of injunctions, 
defect in the discharge of duty. The grand design 
of the gospel is to deliver and restore man to spirit- 
ual health and full allegiance; to bring him into 



Christian Holiness. 139 

full conformity to the image of Christ, and impart 
to him the spirit or mind of Jesus. It is to lift him 
out of the pit of sin, wash away the defilements of 
sin, plant his feet upon the rock, establish his go- 
ings ; and put a new song in his mouth. " Wash me 
thoroughly and cleanse me ; create in me a clean 
heart and renew a right spirit within me. I will 
sprinkle clean water upon yon, and ye shall be clean; 
from all your filthiness will I cleanse you. I will 
also save you from all your uncleannesses. Though 
your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow." 
In the office of our church for the Lord's Supper 
the Collect in the service of consecration contains 
the following petition : " Cleanse the thoughts of 
our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit that 
we may perfectly love Thee and worthily magnify 
Thy holy name. "Here we pray as authorized by the 
Scriptures quoted, for the destruction of sin, sancti- 
fied affections and a holy life. This makes the heart 
right, establishes the kingdom of God within, and 
conforms us to the divine will. This is holiness. 
It is radical and thorough. The sinful principle is 
removed ; the old man put off, sin renounced, done 
away ; Christ put on, accepted. Being divested of 
sin by the operation of God we secure the image of 
Christ, put on the new man ; We are imbued with 
the loveliness, temperance, patience and forbearance 
of the Lamb of God. With purified affections and 
all inward feelings in harmony with the divine will, 
we delight in the law of the Lord after the inward 
man, and love him with all the heart. " Be ye holy, 



140 North Carolina Sermons. 

for I am holy." God requires it. It is a privilege, 
no less than a duty. "The Lord thy God will cir- 
cumcise thy heart to love the Lord with all thy 
heart." This circumcision is remission of sin and 
purification of the heart. "Thou shalt love the Lord 
thy God with all thy heart." This is the perfection 
of holiness taught in the Old and New Testaments. 
Is it a mark that we can never reach ;. a goal that 
cannot be attained ? But ye see your calling, breth- 
ren ; ye may attain unto holiness in all the degrees 
of moral purity; realize maturity of the christian char- 
acter; be strong in the grace that is in Christ ; and 
come to full age, perfect in Christ. To specify a 
little : This perfection is maturity in religious knowl- 
edge, such as Christ prayed might be enjoyed by 
his disciples : " That they might know the only true 
God." Then shall ye know if ye follow on to know 
the Lord. The higher our degree of knowledge, the 
more entire and earnest will be our consecration and 
devotion ; the more completely absorbed in Christ 
and filled with the love of God. It includes matu- 
rity in religious experience. He enjoys the privi- 
lege shared by God's ancient servants — that of walk- 
ing with God. The Father says " I will dwell in 
them and walk in them, and the}' shall be my sons 
and daughters." They have Christ to dwell in their 
hearts and are rooted and grounded in love. Ephs. 
iii: 14-19. Hence follows entire conformity to God's 
will in the outward life. He is acknowledged in all 
our ways; and we respond fully to the precept " Be 
ye therefore perfect." Or to change the form from 



Christian Holiness. 141 

the imperative to the potential, " Ye shall be per- 
fect," we find it both possible and fully within our 
ability, as being graciously assisted, to be perfectly 
conformed to the will of our father; so that what- 
ever we do in word or deed we shall do in the name 
of the Lord Jesus. We do it in respect of his au- 
thority and with hearty good will to glorify him in 
our bodies and spirits, which are his. Such are 
wholly in all manner of conversation, in every ex- 
pression of the temper of the mind, whether by word 
or deed. Such we conceive to be the character of 
christian holiness. It is both our privilege and 
duty to secure it; for without holiness no man shall 
see the Lord. 

The attainment of this does not deliver us from 
infirmity, exempt us from temptation or make us 
infallible. The highest state of Christian enjoy- 
ment, character and life, is consistent with the in- 
firmities which are inseparable from us while on 
probation. To endure to the end implies opposition 
and struggle. But what is infirmity? Let us not 
reckon sin an infirmity, as drunkenness, swearing, 
covetousness, pride, etc. The liability to fall into 
these or any other sin because of our weakness, is 
infirmity. The liability to misapprehend, mistake, 
or forget truth, and duty, is infirmity. It is imper- 
fection and weakness in the physical and intellect- 
ual man. It also includes frailty in the moral man; 
so that we are liable to do wrong and may sin. 
When Solomon says "there is no man that sinneth 
not," we understand that he recognizes the fact that 



142 North Carolina Sermons. 

sin is an ever present possibility : no man is infalli- 
ble and may not sin, through infirmity or otherwise. 
Mr. Wesley says infirmity is in our human nature 
while sin has its place in our moral nature. Still 
he and others come near teaching that the suscepti- 
bility to receive wrong impressions and the conse- 
quent liability to fall into sin are closely allied to 
sin. But there is a distinction that may and should 
be preserved. 

Again : Holiness even in perfection does not ex- 
empt us from trial. God has said to Abraham, "walk 
before me and be perfect." And yet God tempted, 
tried Abraham. Gen. xxii. So, Job was perfect and 
upright ; yet was sorely tried by Satan. James i: 12 
pronounced a blessing upon those who are thus tried. 
The highest degree of virtue and spiritual holiness 
are consistent with these contests with the Tempter. 
The blessed Jesus himself was compassed with in- 
firmity and tempted in all points as we are. The 
Son of God was infallible and could not err. But 
he whom grace supports is enabled to keep himself 
unspotted and blameless to the end. 

Every believer in Christ is called to a holy life, to 
be a saint, is sanctified and called. It is his voca- 
tion to serve God in holiness and righteousness. 
Many do thus serve him : never losing their first 
love. In their case the exhortation to repent and 
do the first works, or begin again with first princi- 
ples, is not necessary and would be inapplicable. 
They have served God with a pure conscience ; yet 
they have need to leave the (first) principles and go 



Chkistian Holiness. 143 

on to perfection. In the case of not a few the fear 
is that they decline, or inwardly backslide, by yield- 
ing to temptation and accustom themselves to shun- 
ning the cross, neglecting duty, shirking responsi- 
bility, and indulging practices which are of doubt- 
ful propriety if not actually sinful. It is not to be 
w r ondered at that their religion becomes a form, a 
burden, a mere profession and shows its greatest 
zeal and power in church machinery and the suc- 
cess of its party. These have need to " repent and 
do the first works," to begin anew to cry with David 
(Psalm li: 10-13) " Restore unto me," &c. 

The discipline we are under here requires devel- 
opment and improvement according to our ability. 
Holiness is the mark towards which we are to press. 

We are living in the world not merely to re- 
ceive good, but to save others. " Ye are the light 
of the world. Let your light shine ; so shine,' 7 
&c. This, properly understood, denotes per- 
fect justice or rectitude in all business transactions 
and the purest benevolence, having reference to that 
state of mind when selfishness is removed and sen- 
timents of the strictest equity prevail. As ye would 
that men do unto you, do ye even so to them. None 
but the pure in heart reach this high degree of jus- 
tice, truth and sincerity in all things. " Follow 
peace with all men and holiness, without which no 
man shall see the Lord." The most succesful, the 
only way to secure this is to — 1. Cherish a sense of 
its necessity ; and 2. Conviction — a strong belief — 
of the duty to seek it. Phil, ii: 12, 13. Work out 



144 North Carolina Sermons. 

your own salvation — i. e., form, build your religious 
character. 

To him that hath shall be given and he shall have 
abundance. Consecrate yourselves to this one great 
work, remembering God hath chosen you through 
sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth. 

Salvation in its beginning and completeness is by 
faith. " By grace are ye saved through faith." Pen- 
itence, prayer and consecration are the concomitants 
of faith. " If thou belie vest with all thy heart" thou 
may est be healed and saved to the uttermost, fully, 
completely and finally. "According to thy faith so 
be it unto thee." Amen. 



[Published at the request of the family.] 

FUNEAL SERMON 

Of Pannie Sherwood York, Daughter of Rev. 

B. York, D. D., preached at O'Kelly's 

Chapel, the 20th of August, 1871. 

By Rev. L. Branson, A. M., 
Of the North Carolina Local Ministers' Conference. 



And the poor have the Gospel preached to them.— Matthew xi: 5. 

John the forerunner had fulfilled his active mis- 
sion. It was now his destiny to fulfill that other 
and more difficult part of a pious character — suffer- 
ing the will of God. Having baptized multitudes 



Funeral Sermon. 145 

unto repentance, and chastised the Pharisees and 
Sadducees, he boldly reproved Herod the king for 
his wickedness, thus procuring for himself arrest and 
imprisonment in a solitary dungeon. 

Not a murmur was heard from his lips ; nor, so 
far as we know, did a single doubt cross his pious 
mind as to the divinity of his own mission or that 
of Christ whom he had so gloriously announced. 
His deciples, however, seeing his imminent danger, 
occupied a position well calculated to depress and 
discourage ; hence John sent two of them to Christ 
asking, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look 
for another?" To this message the Saviour's an- 
swer was both remarkable and divine. Said He ; 
"Go and show John again those things which ye do 
see and hear. 7 ' Then, referring to his miracles of 
power ; such as ' restoring the sight of the blind/ 
' healing the lame,' ' cleansing the lepers,' ' unstop- 
ping the deaf ears/ and ' raising the dead to life 
again/ he enforces conviction of his Messiahship, by 
a still higher class of evidence, in the words of the 
text — " And the poor have the gospel preached to 
them." 

Miracles of power might have convinced the world 
of a Deity, but proclaiming a free gospel to those 
unable to buy is a continued and living evidence of 
of the Saviour's redeeming love. 

In the discussion of this subject I shall present to 
your view 



146 North Carolina Sermons. 

1. Christianity as the practical working of a great mis- 
sionary spirit. 

If I were called upon to point out any two acts in 
the life of Jesus indicative of his wisdom, or of his 
divinity, or of his infinite love, I should unhesitating- 
ly direct your mind to ' Jesus proclaiming his gos- 
pel to the poor ' — ' and to Jesus taking into his arms 
the innocent, infantile world.' 

All human systems uninspired by Christianity, 
look first to the learned and the rich of earth for the 
propagation of prestige and power ; but Christ's sys- 
tem looks to the innocent, and the helpless — the chil- 
dren and the poor. 

These are the teachable, impressable classes, 
and make up the great majority of the world's pop- 
ulation. The true church is built upon the strength 
of purity, and not upon man's ivisdorn or power; hence 
Christianity has always sought for that class of sub- 
jects that could be most easily impressed with the 
lovely truths of a spiritual religion. The plain sim- 
ple teaching of repentance and faith — the necessity 
of a change of heart in order to a change of life, takes 
hold upon the great masses of humanity. 

Human religions begin the work outwardly and 
expect to work inward and downward until the 
heart is made pure and fitted for heaven ; but Chris- 
tianity would first cleanse the fountain, that every 
stream flowing therefrom may be chaste as the driven 
snow. 

Witness the results of the doctrines of Confucius, 



Funeral Sermon. 147 

which have made the millions of China orderly and 
prosperous in material things — learned and artful 
in mind — but have left the heart of a great nation 
unchanged, and full of idolatry and of every vile 
passion that ever existed in the race of man. 

Witness again the workings of popery: systematic 
beyond precedent — stern in discipline as if it would 
iron and chain down the passions of men. And yet 
the spirit of this great beast has absorbed the very 
heart blood of saints by the thousand. It com- 
mences outwardly but can never reach and purify 
the heart. 

In the present age and in every age of the past, 
every denomination of christians that has backslid- 
den into ritualistic formality, has invariably lost spir- 
ituality and has become devoid of Christ's great 
missionary spirit, which estimates beings according 
to the worth of their souls and not in reference to 
their wealth, power and worldly influence. Christ 
embraces the poor that He may spiritualize them, 
and fit them to enjoy the riches of life and the un- 
searchable riches of eternity. 

The fundamental doctrine of experimental relig- 
ion — the truth that "ye must be born again," is 
one of the very foundation stones of the missionary 
spirit. When the fire of grace is built within, burn- 
ing up the dross of sin, every sensibility of the heart 
is quickened, and magnetic lines are opened from 
the new born soul towards every other soul in the 
universe of Cod. The soul that was shut up in the 



148 North Carolina Sermons. 

prison house of sin, is now free as a bird of the air, 
and just as appreciative of the beauties around it. 

That soul that loved no other soul, and only loved 
itself with a blasting flame, now fired by grace runs 
out with open arms of affection that would embrace 
all the world of sinners. The man is now a mis- 
sionary in spirit and practice ; and the more he 
drinks in of Christ's spirit the more he becomes a 
missionary. He may not travel over a vast terri- 
tory, and may never carry the gospel to heathen 
lands, but if he has the spirit of the Master his mis- 
sionary operations will be seen all around him, so 
that, within his sphere of action, the wilderness will 
begin to blossom as the rose. 

The minister, if he be of the spirit of the Master, 
is always a missionary. His labors will tell upon 
the minds and hearts of the great masses, and soon 
these same masses will catch the same divine spirit, 
so that with their hands, their influence and their 
means, they help the minister in heralding the glad 
tidings of salvation to sinners. A spiritual church 
will always be a missionary church. 

Methodism and her co-ordinate branches have al- 
ways been largely missionary. Missionary opera- 
tions did not make the Wesleys spiritual ; but spirit 
life made them missionaries. 

So long as Methodism is spiritual, just so long she 
will use the necessary appliances for carrying vital 
Christianity to the great body of the world's popula- 
tion. 

It is heart-work, a pure vital religion that takes 



Funeral Sermon, 149 

hold upon the millions of children, giving them the 
Bible, and spreading to their view the glories of the 
cross. 

While the formal^ of Popery contracts and de- 
bases the mind, the spirit of Christianity opens op 
to the young the beauties of the educational world. 

Thus the church, in all her successful operations, 
is supported and inspired by that divine missionary 
spirit, originated and continued by the world's Re- 
deemer. 

I present to your view 

II. Some of the operations of woman as a worker in the 
missionary cause. 

If Avoman was first to sin, grievously hath she 
atoned for that priority. In the long dark ages pre- 
ceding the first advent, no glorious light illumined 
her pathway. In agony she beheld the son shed 
the blood of his brother — in bitterness and wailing 
she beheld the children of her travail swept by the 
diluvian waters, and not one devoted son able to 
save a sinking mother — in the long night of Egyp- 
tian bondage she was but the servant of servants. 

But in all her sufferings and degradation the 
promise of God that "her seed should bruise the ser- 
pent's head" was never forgotten. She looked with 
confidence for the promised Messiah : and when he 
came woman was entrusted with his youthful train- 
ing. When Calvary was baptized with the Saviour's 
blood, woman was last to leave the cross : and when 

10 



150 North Carolina Sermons. 

Jesus had put off forever the habiliments of death, 
woman was first to view the sepulchre. 

She commenced the new era at a par value with 
man, and now for these eighteen hundred and sev- 
enty-one years she has been man's equal in devotion 
and tenderness, and oftentimes his- superior in love 
and in suffering. 

Full well she knows that where there is most light' 
and religion there is most of protection and happi- 
ness for woman. It has ever been her practice to 
carry food and raiment to the poor distressed in the 
highways and hedges of life : and none are more 
ready to kneel by the agonizing penitent and pour 
into his wounded spirit the consolations of redeem- 
ing love. 

She has often forsaken the dearest earthly ties and 
gone to distant lands to carry instruction to heathen 
nations ; and as the banner of the cross has pushed 
its way among the heathen tribes in our own coun- 1 
try, woman has ever been near it with her earnest 
devotion and her disinterested love. 

In the great Sunday School work that now sweeps 
.-over the land, woman is the most active and inspir- 
ing worker: and when, in the celestial parks of the 
golden city, Christ shall walk with the redeemed of 
earth, gathering to his divine embrace millions of 
.children saints, many of our sisters, and wives, and 
mothers, will occupy places near to the heart of the 
great Redeemer. 



Funeral Sermon, 151 

I shall now present to your view 
111. The character of lannie Sherwood York, and note 
in what respects she showed forth the missionary spirit 
of our Lord and Master. 

Sister Fanny Sherwood York, daughter of Rev. 
Brantley and Mary Wells York, was born at Trinity 
College, Sept. the 18th, 1837, and died at Raffia 
Badger Institute, June the 6th, 1871. 

The example of pious parents was not lost upon 
her early childhood. While but a little girl she 
seemed to comprehend the great doctrine of " repent- 
ance and faith," and before the age of twelve she had 
connected herself with the Methodist Episcopal 
South, thus beginning to show forth publicly, by 
works, her confidence in Jesus. 

Her subsequent life proves to the world the ines- 
timable value of correct parental instruction, and 
should be a profitable example to all parents, upon 
whom rests in a great measure the salvation of their 
children. We should also remember this, as an in- 
stance of conversion in childhood, and ever hereaf- 
ter encourage our little ones to cast themselves up- 
on Jesus. The child that is old enough to know 
when sin is committed, is old enough to repent of 
sin ; and he that is sensible of sin, may also be sen- 
sible of pardon. 

Our sister was educated principally at Olin Col- 
lege in a class consisting of herself and two young 
men, afterwards lawyers of distinction. Her activ- 
ity and strength of mind was such that none sur- 
passed her in the college course of study. Of this 



152 North Carolina Sermons. 

class, Fannie Sherwood York and Oliver Fitz Clegg 
having lived well and died well, have entered, we 
trust, and are now partakers of the glories of the 
higher temple. 

Sweet memories of these two, who have received 
the higher honors, will ever fall encouragingly upon 
the heart of R W. York, the surviving classmate. 

With a liberal education, sister York was prepared 
to enter intelligently upon the great mission of life. 
With a spirit gentle, a heart pure, and emotions warm, 
she was always ready to enter heartily into the 
Master's work. 

About this time in her history, her father, having 
spent some twenty years in laborious educational 
and missionary labor, found himself, though full of 
the light of the spirit, shut out from the light of the 
world. 

It is interesting to see this young sister and 
daughter entering into a father's affliction, and be- 
coming eyes to the blind— a constant guide and sup- 
port to one whose delight and joy has ever been to 
perform the labors of a great missionary work. Du- 
ring eighteen long years of physical blindness, on 
the journey, in the school room, in the study, and 
by the bedside of this afflicted parent, we have seen 
this devoted child. 

Thus linking her destiny with that of a great mis- 
sionary, how could she do otherwise than imbibe 
the spirit of this devoted work ? Accordingly we 
find her ardently attached to the church in all its 



Funeral Sermon. 153 

interests, and ever lending a helping hand in every 

good work. 

To her calling as a teacher she was devotedly at- 
tached, looking upon the work as preparatory to the 
extension of the gospel. She sought not for the 
speculative joys of life, but found constant delight 
in " doing with her might whatever her hands f6und 
to do " She was a sweet and dutiful child, ever de- 
voting her strength and energies to the happiness 
of those around her. In her modest simplicity she 
regarded herself as having accomplished but little 
in life ; and yet many a weeping friend will ever re- 
member Miss Fannie, and will bestow upon her 
memory words of honor and affection. We may well 
celebrate the deeds of one who lived so full of phi- 
lanthropy—of one so absorbed in the comfort and 
happiness of those she loved. Those that knew her 
besti will be able to say many daughters have done 
well, but Fannie excelled them all. 

But the stern test of piety was yet to come. Through 
suffering God designed to give her perfection ' of 
christian character. The stroke of bodily affliction 
was sudden and severe. The soul and body that had 
lived together for 33 years, with so much success and 
harmony, seemed loath to take a final adieu. For 
ten days the body lay on the confines of the dark 
rtomb, while the soul stood on Pisgah's top, viewing 
with rapture the sunny land. But ere the pitcher 
at the fountain was broken, or the golden chord 
loosed, an angel convoy stood beside her lingering 



254 North Carolina Sermons. 

soul ready to bear it to the blissful scenes above. 
She died in peace. Her rest is sweet and eternal 

"Sister, thou wast mild and lovely^ 

Gentle as the summer breeze, 
Pleasant as the air of evening, 

When it floats among the trees. 

Peaceful be thy silent slumber, 

Peaceful in the grave so low ; 
Thou no more wilt join our number; 

Thou no more our songs shall know. 

Dearest sister, thou hast left us ; 

Here thy loss we deeply feel ; 
But '.is God that hath bereft us ; 

He can all our sorrows heal. 

Yet again we hope to meet thee,. 

When the day of life is fled ; 
Then in heaven with joy to greet thee,. 

Where no farewell tear is shed." 

The religion which gave our sister peace in life, 
and victory in death, will comfort the bereaved fam- 
ily. Her public example as a christian of a pure 
missionary spirit, will serve to inspire us all, with a 
better hope and a more lively zeal, in the angelic- 
work of educating and evangelizing the world. 



Christ as a Saviou; 



155 



COMPLETENESS OF CHRIST AS A SAVIOUR. 



By H. T. Hudson, IX IX, 
Of the North Carolina Conference. 



For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And 
ye are eomplete in Him. Col. ii : 9, 10. 

The Divinity of Christ is clearly set forth in the 
preceding chapter where it is said: "For by Him 
were all things created that are in heaven, and that 
are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be 
thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: 
all things were created by Him and for Him. And 
He is before all things, and by Him all things con- 
sist." . 
There are three leading truths suggested by the 

above passage : 

1. The pre-existed of Christ. " He is before all 
things" If Christ created the world, He must of 
necessity be older than the world. The Creator is 
necessarily older than the thing created. The builder 
ofahousemustbeolderthanthehouse. Long before 
the earth began to revolve on its axes, long before 
the sun began to shine, long before the first star 
blossomed in the blue fields of heaven, Christ ex- 
isted in the full-orbed glory of the Godhead. "From 
everlasting to everlasting Thou art God." " And 
Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the founda- 
tions of the earth; and the heavens are the works of 
Thy hands." 



156 North Carolina Sermons. 

2. Christ is greater than the universe. The maker 
is necessarily grander than the things made. The 
architect is greater than the building. The painter 
is greater than his picture. The author is grander 
than his book. So Christ is infinitely greater than 
the universe. He is greater in extent and grander 
in power. How great is the material universe? 
The earth measuring 8,000 miles in diameter and 
25,000 in circumference, with its lofty mountains, 
spreading seas, and vast continents, is great in itself, 
but compared to the entire universe, it is but a leaf 
in the stupendous forest of material existence. The 
sun, warming and illuminating our world, is a mil- 
lion and a half times larger than this great earth. 
He enlightens a hundred such planets as ours, and 
holds them steadily in the hand of gravitation as 
they sweep around him at the rate of 3,000 miles per 
minute. He pours such floods of light upon the 
earth that there is not room enough to contain it. 
The superfluity of his splendor runs off at the edges 
and flames upon other stars. But this great world 
of flaming fire is not the limit of the universe. The 
astronomical telescope shows eighteen million such 
suns to be shining in the immensity of space. 
They are moving around the great central orb 
which astronomers name Alcyone. This central 
sun is located in the cluster commonly known as 
the " seven stars," which Job calls the "Pleiades." 
" Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades?" 
The Chaldaic word in the original literally means a 
hinge, pivot, ov axle, which turns round and moves 



Christ as a Saviour. 157 

other bodies along with it. The moon moves round 
the earth, the eartli moves round the sun, and the 
sun with his attendant planets moves round Alcyone, 
the great central sun of the universe. " M. Madler, 
of Dorpat, found that Alcyone, the brightest star of 
the Pleiades, is the center of gravity of our vast solar 
system— the luminous hinge in the heavens round 
which our sun and his planets are moving through 
space." So tremendous is the force of Alcyone, that 
it seems to be the arch key which holds the vast 
universe together. Its influence is sweet or trans- 
cendently precious, because without it the physical 
system would tumble into ruin. Grander than all 
these magnificent worlds, stretching over immeas- 
urable spaces, is Christ. His omnipotence is greater 
than all the forces of nature. The wind sweeping 
in the wild rush of the tornado, the lightning shiv- 
ering the sturdy oak, the sea tempest tossing great 
navies high on its rolling billows as playthings, the 
earthquake lifting huge continents on its giant 
shoulders, are but feeble pulsations in His arm of 
almighty potency. " And I heard . . . the voice of 
mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia, for the Lord 
God omnipotent reigneth." 

3. Christ is the owner of all things. " All things were 
created by Him and for Him." There can be no 
better right to property than that given by the act 
of creation. From nothing Jesus Christ called the 
material world into existence. Men claim the right 
to go!d and silver upon the ground of finding them. 
But Christ made them before they could be found. 



153 North Carolina Sermons. 

God's ownership of all property is perpetual, inex- 
tinguishable and under all circumstances indispu- 
table and supreme. " The earth is the Lord's and 
the fullness thereof; the world and they that 
dwell therein." Christ is the great^ Proprietor of all 
things, and He has never ceded His right to all of 
earth's wealth to men. Man is only a steivard, who 
holds property subject to the will of the great Pro- 
prietor. What a man produces by his own skill and 
energy, as crops, houses, books, &c, he claims as his 
property. But productions are not creations. They 
are but combinations out of materials and forces 
which God put into his hands. God's right to prop- 
erty rests on the higher ground of creation and com- 
bination. Besides, man is the servant of God, and 
all the servant makes belongs to the master. 

II. The creative power of Christ clearly establishes 
His Divinity, and out of His Divinity comes His 
completeness as the all-sufficient Saviour of the 
world. 

Let us now T proceed to notice : 

1. That the plan of salvation is complete in the fact 
that it embraces all men in its redemptive provisions. 

Our instinctive feelings would lead us to believe 
that so glorious a Person as Christ would not be sent 
on a partial and limited mission ; that supposing Him 
to visit this earth and agonize in blood and shame, 
He would embrace the whole race of mankind iii 
His loving mission. And especially, when it is well 
known that it was just as easy to redeem the whole 
of the world as a part of it. The God of mankind 



Christ as a Saviour. 

must be from the very necessity of His nature a 
God of equal justice and impartial love. He gave 
all men unasked their existence: will He cut off 
millions of the human race, after they had fallen 
through the agency of another, without giving them 
any possible chance of being saved? "Shall not 
the Judge of all the earth do right ?" Yes, He will. 
For the Bible positively declares, that Christ de- 
scended below the angels, tliat He, by the grace of God, 
should taste death for every man. That Christ Jesus 
gave Himself a ransom for all. That God so loved the 
ivorld that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever 
believeth in Him should not perish. The entire race of 
mankind is redeemed. Universal redemption is a 
grand and glorious reality. The scheme of salva- 
tion is complete in its scope; it encircles the entire 
world in its arms of redeeming love. "God, our 
Saviour, * * will have all men to be saved." " The 
Lord is * * * not willing that any should perish." 

III. The completeness of Christianity is seefl 
when we consider its perfect adaptation to all p<rts 
of man. 

1. It is adapted to the intellect. 

The spirit of Christ gives clearness, str^gth and 
expansion to all the mental faculties. n he intellect 
is developed and strengthened by the jXercise of its 
powers on suitable subjects. No pander subjects 
can be found than those presenter" m the gospel of 
Christ. Christianity is an € ( lcator of men; it 
teaches them to think And t' inkin g is education. 
To "educate" means to lead jut the mi nd 3 to devel- 



160 North Carolina Sermons. 

ope its dormant faculties ; and this is what the gos- 
pel does. The Holy Spirit rouses up the intellect, 
enobles it and puts it to thinking. Just as the 
genial warmth of the vernal sun starts the roots to 
growing, the buds to opening, the germs of the 
vegetable kingdom to blooming, so the celestial fires 
of the Holy Spirit starts the intellect of the world 
in the line of growth, refinement and full develop- 
ment. The great thinkers of the world are Christian 
men. The sublime thoughts of Christ have put the 
whole world to thinking. Four out of every five 
books published in the wide -world are written on 
some theme connected with Christianity. The lever 
now moving the intellectual world is the religion of 
Christ. Christianity exerts a great influence on the 
sciences. When did the revival of science and lit- 
erature take place in Europe? Not till the great 
reformation of Luther stirred the dormant intellect 
of Germany. The doctrine that Christ, the Son of 
-Righteousness, was the great central orb of chris- 
tiaaity suggested the scientific discovery of our ma- 
teria, sun being the centre of the planetary system. 
Theologians first discovered the true centre of the 
spiritual -vorld, then was the discovery of the true 
centre of pKnets made. The enlightening influence 
of the gospeio OI1 tj nues to be the moving and refin- 
ing power of nr,dern civilization. Where does the 
sun of intellectua^] or y s hi ne to-day ? Why, among 
those nations whicNjjayg com e most under the in- 
fluences of christian^ Mental dormancy broods 
over heathendom, ovk Mahometanism, Buddhism 



Christ as a Saviour. 

and all others destitute of the rousing and stirring 
truths of Christianity. 

2. Christianity is adapted to the will of man. 

The will being that faculty in man which is per- 
sonal and executive, nothing is effected till this is 
reached. Any religion which cannot control this 
power of man is a failure; but Christianity is adapted 
to control the will from the grandeur of those inter- 
ests which it presents. Here every thing takes hold 
on infinity and eternit} r . The motives to a course 
of piety are commanding; the motives to shun evil 
are terrific. Its language is: " What shall it profit 
a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his 
own soul ; or what shall a man give in exchange 
for his soul." On the one hand is placed " eternal 
life," on the other is the " blackness of darkness for- 
ever." No grander motives can be brought to bear 
upon the human will than those presented in the 
system of Christianity. 

3. Christ as a complete Saviour, is meeting perfectly 
all the wants of the heart. 

The human heart craves to love something that 
is perfectly lovety, perfectly excellent, and glorious. 
It craves to fix its affections on some living embodi- 
ment of transcendent beauty — some faultless Being 
who can appreciate and reciprocate the love which 
the heart feels. The beauty of pictures, the beauty 
of stars, the beauty of the rainbow, the beauty of 
flowers, will not satisfy the human heart. These 
are too coarse, too gross, too material, too unlike the 
soul to satisfy its aspirations. The cry of the human 



162 North Carolina Sermons. 

heart is that of Philip, when he said : " Lord show 
us the Father and it sufficeth us." Divine beauty only 
€an satisfy the heart ; and Christ recognized this 
■demand and replied : " He that hath seen Me hath 
Been the Father." Christ is the " brightness of His 
glory, and the express imago of His person." "We 
beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten 
of the Father.'*' " He is the fairest among ten thou* 
sand and the One altogether lovely." And David 
said : "I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy like- 
ness." " One thing have I desired of the Lord, that 
will I seek after * * * to behold the beauty of the 
Lord." The beauty-loving element of man will be 
fully satisfied in heaven when " Thine eyes shall see 
the King in His beauty." 

4. He is complete as a Saviour in being so grand as to 
take in the rvhole capacity of mail's loving nature. 

Being incomplete in ourselves we seek to draw 
completeness from another. The heart demands an 
absorbing object of worship ; something so great as 
to swallow up its full powers. When the object 
loved is too small the loving heart must turn back 
upon itself or else go out in search of a new object 
of affection. Such is the vastness of the soul, so 
immense is the reach of its aspiration, so excursive 
its roaming desires, that no earthly good can fill it 
Man is always progressive ; seeking something be- 
yond the present. Conquering the whole world 
does not satisfy the ambition of Alexander. Moun- 
tains of gold do not satisfy the wealth-loving heart* 



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